Didi adjusts the carpooling rules and seeks profit space. If the online car-hailing cannot be fought, it will no longer enjoy "one price".

  Didi, which has been struggling to get back online for a long time, has turned its focus to the carpooling business. Since November 1, Didi has launched a new carpooling model in the Beijing area. Citizens who have not successfully carpooled will no longer enjoy the affordable "one price", but pay directly according to the real-time express price. This adjustment of the rules means that Didi will no longer provide subsidies to passengers who cannot carpool, but use price means to make more consumers accept the real carpooling business with a more shared nature.

  Passengers have to pay more if the order is unsuccessful

  Starting this month, when users open Didi’s taxi app, they will find that the first four options that appear on the software interface are express, simultaneous call, bicycle, and taxi. Click on the express option, select the destination, and a new "carpooling" interface will pop up. After checking, the carpooling pricing rules clearly state that "If you don’t get it, you will be priced in real time by express".

  "In the past, no matter whether you can fight it or not, it was’one price ‘, saving money and worry. Now you can’t pick up cheap." On the morning of November 1, Mr. Guo, a citizen who often takes a taxi from Jiandemen to Chaoyang Park, discovered this new rule. The "pick up cheap" in his mouth is mainly before Didi adjusted the new rules. When citizens choose to carpool on some non-popular routes and off-peak hours, the system sometimes fails to match the carpooling order on the way, and passengers can enjoy express travel alone, but still charge according to the one-price carpool.

  "The express train costs 37 or 38 yuan for the whole journey, and 25 yuan for carpooling can be done. Sometimes I can’t get on the bus alone, saving more than ten yuan. If I can’t get on the bus in the future, the cheap price of more than ten yuan will be gone!" Mr. Guo told reporters.

  Didi’s customer service staff explained that before the rules were adjusted, regardless of whether the carpooling was successful or not, as long as "carpooling" was selected when placing an order, regardless of whether there was a traffic jam or not, it would be settled at the discounted price at the time of placing the order. After the adjustment, the carpooling needed to be successful to enjoy the discounted price. "Someone nearby needs to send a carpooling order at the same time, and they have to stop by to get together. If there is no shared order, the carpooling will fail." The customer service said.

  The difficulty of carpooling has not been reduced, and the price is more affordable.

  The reporter interviewed a number of users and found that for passengers who successfully carpool after placing an order, the price of carpooling is not only cheaper than that of express trains, but also lower than that of previous carpooling prices.

  For example, the journey from Xiaoyueyuan in Lugou Bridge to Shougang Industrial Heritage Park is 14 kilometers, and the express train in the morning peak is close to 60 yuan. If the carpool is successful, the price will be 50 yuan, which is equivalent to about 15% off. After the rules are adjusted, the carpool price is about 34 yuan, which is 16 yuan cheaper than before. However, because there are multiple passengers paying the fare, the platform’s revenue will only increase.

  After the rules are adjusted, is it more difficult to carpool? Many users said that it still feels easier to place an order, and it is easier to get a car during long distances during off-peak hours, when users can enjoy affordable "one price".

  "I pulled seven carpooling orders this morning." Master Zhang, an express driver, said it was clear that the platform was sending more carpooling orders. He said that the number of carpooling orders was not related to the driver. "We just make money from the mileage, and the platform takes 25%."

  "It doesn’t affect us much, but it’s time-consuming to take more detours to find passengers, and it’s easy to cause disputes. It’s easier to pull the express train." Express driver Master Liu told reporters that drivers are usually reluctant to take on carpooling business.

  "The previous carpooling model’suffered a loss’ on the Didi platform." The driver, Master Jin, analyzed that whether it was spelled or not, the money given by the Didi platform was the amount of money from the departure point to the farthest destination. For example, if a passenger went from the News Building to Beiyuan, and a friend went from Chongwenmen to Datun, the fare given by the Didi platform to the driver was not the total amount of money for the two passengers, but the cost of the farthest distance from Chongwenmen to Beiyuan.

  He believes that if the driver did not fight before, he would not suffer a loss, and only earn a little less mileage, but the platform "advanced" the money that was not spelled. After this adjustment, if the spelling is made, the platform can earn an extra order money, and the driver is still paid by the number of kilometers, so the platform "earns more".

  Share into Didi’s profit breakthrough

  Didi carpooling was launched in December 2015. According to the data released in April last year, the average daily order of Didi carpooling has exceeded 2.40 million yuan, becoming a typical representative of the sharing economy in the transportation field. More than 50% of passengers are willing to accept carpooling.

  "The original intention of launching carpooling is to reduce users’ travel costs, reduce the rate of empty vehicles and improve travel efficiency by sharing seats in the car. This adjustment can better realize carpooling to share fares and reduce travel costs," Didi said.

  According to industry analysis, after the implementation of the new carpooling regulations, Didi’s subsidies for the carpooling business will be greatly reduced, the enthusiasm of passengers for carpooling will also be higher, and the platform revenue is expected to increase significantly. Previously, Hitch, which has significant sharing characteristics, was a rare profit bright spot for Didi other than the driving business, but in the face of huge safety risks, Didi Hitch has been hesitant to resume its online service. Under the pressure, the more controllable carpooling business is likely to become the focus of Didi’s business, in order to alleviate the problem of insufficient express capacity and high prices.

  Previously, Didi CEO Cheng Wei publicly stated, "We have not achieved profitability in six years. In the first half of 2018, the company’s overall net loss exceeded 4 billion yuan, and the entire online car-hailing industry was lossmaking."

  "As a representative enterprise of the sharing economy, Didi’s approach of adjusting its operating model to pursue profitability should be understood." Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Consulting Group, said that only by following market laws to seek profitability can companies continue to improve user experience. He believes that for the travel market, Didi is different from the traditional taxi industry. The sharing concept of carpooling can better improve idle seat resources, but the platform also needs to ensure a safe operation system to allow carpooling passengers to have a better experience. (Reporter, Pan Fuda)