Battle over taxi-hailing apps

Added On December 22, 2014

China's largest search engine Baidu signed a cooperation and investment agreement with the U.S. app-based transportation network Uber Wednesday.
This movement heated up the country's competition in taxi-hailing market.
According to the deal, Baidu will buy a stake in Uber, and Uber in return can get access to Baidu's map service and search engine advantages to boost its market share.
So far, China's three largest Internet companies, namely Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, have all joined the competition over the lucrative taxi-hailing apps market.
Baidu's partner, Uber, is still tiny in China despite its network covering more than 250 cities around the world.
It entered into the Chinese market last year and currently operates in only nine Chinese cities. 
By comparison, its local rivals Kuaidi Dache backed by Alibaba and Didi Dache backed by Tecent jointly account for almost 99 percent of the market with 154 million registered users in more than 300 Chinese cities.
To further promote their mobile-pay applications, the two companies spent more than 392 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of the year to give fare reductions to users and subsidies to drivers.
They've also introduced a limousine hailing service similar to Uber since July.
With the participation of Baidu, the market now is very likely to see a reshuffle.
According to Lu Wei, secretary general of the Internet Society of China, the market still has room for new comer, and service and business models will be the new focus of the future market.