A man uses taxi-hailing app on his smartphone on a road in Guangzhou city, South China's Guangdong province. (Photo: IC)
Ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing announced Tuesday that a new pricing rule will take effect in Beijing starting Thursday to balance supply with demand.
The new rule changes starting prices, mileage fees and time fees during different hours. Services such as Didi Express and Didi Premier will be affected.
Since April 2017, ride-hailing prices in Beijing have been stable, according to Didi. But as the ride-hailing demand has increased, the imbalance between supply and demand has worsened.
Data show that daily demand has surged by 44 percent while demand during rush hour has risen by 49 percent.
Twenty percent of the demand for Didi Express service during rush hours on weekdays cannot be met. The overall rate of a passenger successfully securing a ride is relatively low.
The company hopes that the pricing changes will encourage its signed drivers to work more and guide more passengers to travel at off-peak hours to alleviate pressure during rush hours.
Take the pricing of Didi Express service as an example. The starting price during morning rush hour (6:00-10:00) will rise to 14 yuan from the current 13 yuan, the mileage fee will increase to 1.8 yuan per kilometer from 1.6, and the time fee will stay at 0.8 yuan. At off-peak hours (10:00-17:00), the starting price is the same, the mileage fee is reduced to 1.45 yuan per km from 1.6, and the time fee is cut to 0.4 yuan per km from 0.5.
Netizens have been divided in their responses. Some say the previous prices didn't have much of an advantage over other ride-hailing services, so the hike will make it harder for people to accept. Others say it's reasonable to raise the price if it will be easy to get a ride and the service is good.