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Lyft users can now get a cab in China & Southeast Asia; India plans?


In December last year, America’s Lyft, Ola from India, Didi Kuaidi from China, and GrabTaxi from Singapore joined hands in a strategic alliance to roll out products in the first quarter of 2016. Today, American Lyft users can get a cab in China through Didi and GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia, reports Engadget. We’ve written to Ola for further details and will update this when we hear from them.

American Lyft users will be able to pay for their rides by cash, credit card previously registered on the platform in China and SE Asia, and users from these regions can get a Lyft cab when they visit the US and “pay in their own currency”. This appears like a pilot roll out to test responses and behaviour to the integrated cab hailing feature. Lyft will link its app with other partners in more countries this year.

This alliance is a follow up of reports from January 2015 when Ola was planning to tie with GrabTaxi to form a global taxi alliance to take on Uber. At the time of the alliances these cab booking companies said that combined, they covered 50% of the world’s population across Southeast Asia, India, China and the US.

Sharing tech and knowledge: The 4 companies would collaborate to use each other’s technology, local market knowledge and business resources to offer international travelers rides using the same application native to their country, including mapping, routing and payments for their respective countries.

In September 2015, Didi Kuaidi invested in Ola’s latest $225 million round of funding. Didi has also invested $100 million into Lyft, and it also participated in a $350 million round of funding for GrabTaxi.

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Meru-Taxis G7 alliance: In October 2015, Meru Cabs partnered with France’s Taxis G7 to launch eCabs, a global alliance of radio taxi operators which would provide cab services to foreign travelers in India and to Indian travelers going abroad through a mobile app. For example, a traveler going to France could book a cab through the app and Taxis G7 would provide the service, while in India it would be provided by Meru. The eCab service was rolled out in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, India and Ireland with plans to enter three more countries in Europe soon. By the end of 2015, eCab planned expansion to cover 50 cities, in 9 countries, and 3 continents, with 40,000 taxis.

Uber’s developments in India: Uber has been adding to its repertoire in India by making cabs available to users of Housing, Practo, Zomato and Google Maps. Yesterday, it slashed its rates for its cheapest service UberGo by up to 22% in 10 non-metro cities in the countries, after Ola slashed prices for its auto service. Last month, it also launched UberMOTO, its bike taxi service in Gurgaon, following the memorandum of understanding it signed with the Haryana government.

Image Credit: Praiselightmedia under CC BY SA 4.0

Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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