BMW has become the first global car manufacturer to obtain a license which will allow it to launch a ride-hailing service in China. The company is reportedly planning to launch the service in the People’s Republic next month. It has obtained the ride-hailing license in Chengdu which is the capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China. The license has been obtained by BMW Mobility Service which is a fully owned subsidiary of the BMW Group.
BMW Group has already announced earlier this year that it’s increasing its stake in the Chinese joint venture with partner Brilliance China Automotive to 75 percent from 50 percent. Foreign firms are required to partner with local companies on such projects.
China has a substantial ride-hailing market which is worth an estimated $23 billion. That’s more than all other ride-hailing markets combined. Local giant Didi Chuxing dominates the market as it accounts for 90 percent of all bookings.
The specifics about BMW’s ride-hailing service will likely be released a bit closer to its launch. It’s said to go live in the country next month. BMW isn’t the only German auto giant that’s interested in the Chinese’s ride-hailing market. Daimler has also expressed an interest in launching a service in partnership with the Geely Group.