Didi Joins E-Commerce Race


Beijing – based car sharing app ventures into e-commerce, following previous moves in delivery and on-demand trucking. The move marks the latest attempt for Didi to expand beyond its core ride-hailing business.


China’s largest ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing, will soon allow Chinese residents to buy groceries online, from fresh veggies to daily needs products through a mini program recently launched on WeChat, called Chengxin Youxuan, expanding the company’s offering to a wider range of services. As the third-largest unicorn in China, Didi is at a key point in its development. Recently the company has shown ambitions with 800 million monthly users target. So, what’s next? E-commerce is the answer. 

The new function Chengxin Youxuan is still at the stage of testing in a small-scope area. The service will be available first to consumers in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Southwest Sichuan province. According to a 36Kr report, the service will be implemented by third-party couriers.

How does it work? Consumers can place their order for groceries online via the mini program, and choose to pick up the order by themselves at a physical location or wait for the delivery within two days. Didi’s new offering taps an area with no direct connection with its core ride-hailing business, in competition with other players such as Dada Nexus, backed by Walmart and JD.com, which offers on-demand grocery delivery, and Nice Tuan, which allows individuals to group-buy items online.  



The move marks the latest attempt for Didi to expand beyond its core ride-hailing business. In March, Didi launched an errand service called “Paotui,” in Chengdu and Hangzhou, promising to deliver everything from groceries, drinks, medicine, and even flowers within a city, with drivers from the firm’s dedicated service Didi Chauffeur as the first batch of errand runners.

Didi has also announced the launch of an on-demand trucking service in the same citiesThe firm has already added a new channel, called Huoyun (“cargo shipping” in English), on the Didi app. The service will be launched on June 23, Didi announced on Tuesday, adding that it has signed over 20,000 new drivers.

Unlike the new errand and trucking services, which both have special channels inside Didi’s app, Chengxin Youxuan currently only has a WeChat mini program to meet its clients, media said.



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