Meituan Didi taxi increases subsidies, experts say vigilant against violations

  Meituan has been online in Shanghai for 10 days, quickly stirring up the Shanghai online ride-hailing market. Meituan said last week that it has gained a 1/3 share in Shanghai, and its App also ranks fourth in the number of downloads on the Apple App Store. Among them, users and drivers enjoy the greatest benefits. Meituan, Didi, Yidao and other players have launched preferential activities, especially Meituan and Didi, and raved about coupons. Drivers also enjoy various forms of subsidies in the process of being wooed by the platform. As the so-called catfish effect, catfish not only stir up the living environment of other fish, but also activate the survival ability of other fish.

  Beijing Youth Daily reporter found that Meituan and Didi Express product pricing rules are almost the same. At present, the focus of competition between the two companies is mainly on the strength of coupons. Many passengers reported that Didi has recently distributed more coupons. In addition, high subsidies have brought black production and brush orders. Analysts believe that Didi and Meituan should pay more attention to technology and focus more on solving technical issues such as brush orders, dispatch mechanisms, and dynamic price increases.

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  Meituan taxi quickly occupied 1/3 of the market share

  At 0:00 on March 21, Meituan taxi officially landed in Shanghai, and both taxi and express services were launched at the same time. Once the Shanghai station was opened, the market responded warmly. Meituan said that Meituan taxi was launched in Shanghai for less than 20 hours, and the daily order volume broke through 100,000 orders. At 22:00 on the same day, the order volume broke through 150,000 orders. On the 24th, Meituan announced that the Shanghai station completed 300,000 orders on the third day, of which nearly 50% of users became return customers.

  At the 2018 China Development Forum held on the 24th, Meituan Dianping CEO Wang Xing revealed that Meituan has won 1/3 of the market share in Shanghai. "Meituan Travel is a new player. It opened in Nanjing last year and Shanghai a few days ago, and quickly got 1/3 of the market share."

  In this regard, Internet observer Ge Jia believes that Meituan’s taxi-hailing has achieved good results in Shanghai for four reasons: First, the demand for taxi-hailing in Meituan App should be very large. After all, taxi-hailing is still a business that is close to the local life of eating, drinking and having fun, and demand should also be the basis for Meituan’s decision to enter this field. Second, Meituan’s taxi-hailing business has been running in Nanjing for a year, and its operating experience and preparation for emergencies are still relatively sufficient. Third, there are some signs of monopoly in the online car-hailing market, and there is a lack of vitality. Everyone is more excited about the entry of new forces. Fourth, Meituan has also prepared some subsidies, such as zero commission for three months, etc., which is still relatively attractive to drivers.

  However, Ding Daoshi, an independent Internet analyst, believes that Meituan’s share has surged through large subsidies in the short term, and subsidies cannot be sustained for a long time. If Meituan can still account for such a share at the end of this year, it will be really remarkable.


  Online car-hailing is still a money-burning project

  Car-hailing has always been a "money-burning" project in China.

  In 2015, when competition from Didi, Uber, Yidao and others was fierce, Zhou Hang, the founder of Yidao, revealed that "the entire car-sharing market spent more than 20 billion yuan in 2015." In 2016, Uber CEO Kalanick said: "We are already profitable in hundreds of cities around the world, which allows us to continue to invest in new markets and continue to invest in very expensive markets like China." He said Uber loses money on every order in China, and loses $1 billion a year in China. That is why Uber had to complete the merger with Didi, which Kalanick said was the only possibility for Uber to make money in China.

  Didi, as the "boss" of the market, has also been in a state of loss. According to a data obtained by the media 24/7 Technology, Didi Chuxing’s GMV (total transaction value) in 2017 reached 25 billion to 27 billion US dollars; the main business lost more than 200 million US dollars, and the overall loss 300 million to 400 million US dollars; in early March this year, Didi expected its main business to achieve profitability in 2018. Earlier, Didi President Liu Qing said that Didi’s burn subsidy is to expand the scale and improve the effectiveness of taxi hailing, "the travel platform must rely on high scale to drive the efficiency of the entire platform".

  For Meituan is no exception. In February 2017, Meituan tested the taxi business in Nanjing, but a year later, Meituan did not go to the next city. Meituan said that after a 10-month pilot operation in Nanjing, Meituan’s daily order volume exceeded 100,000, and it has mastered the key elements and management methods of the taxi business, and has the ability to open a new city. However, the industry generally believes that more importantly, in October 2017, Meituan Dianping completed a new round of financing led by Tencent, with a total financing amount of 4 billion US dollars. Shortly thereafter, Meituan Dianping announced the upgrade of the organizational structure and the establishment of the travel department. It is reported that Meituan took out about $1 billion to enter the online car-hailing market, Meituan said it was inconvenient to disclose the specific amount.


  Meituan and Didi Dache increase subsidies for users

  After Meituan entered Shanghai, it was the users who benefited the most. Meituan, as a newcomer, provided a lot of subsidies, and Didi also followed up with subsidies, or even more vigorously. Some users said that the elderly in the family have learned to call online car-hailing, "shopping, going out to play cards, all take online car-hailing".

  Meituan customer service told the Beiqing Daily reporter that at present, new passengers can directly receive three coupons worth 14 yuan, and the starting price of Meituan taxi is 14 yuan, which means that as long as the order does not exceed the starting price, passengers only need to pay 0.01 yuan. After the order is completed, they will also receive coupons issued by Meituan from time to time, with different denominations. In addition, if passengers invite their friends to open Meituan taxi, after the other party successfully calls and pays, they and their friends can receive a coupon spree worth 50 yuan, including several coupons of various denominations such as 10 to 14 yuan, and each taxi can be used. However, passengers can only use a maximum of 4 coupons per day.

  Didi has also quietly increased its subsidies to users. A text message shown by a user to a reporter from Beiqing Daily shows that Didi has been issuing various coupons to its account every day recently. For example, "The 42 yuan taxi spree (14 yuan off, 40% off 12 yuan, 65% off 16 yuan) has been deposited into your account!" "The discount storm is in progress! Today, the whole city of Shanghai sits on Didi, and you can get a single discount of 14 yuan (valid from 10:00 to 24:00)!" "Congratulations on getting a 14 yuan discount coupon for the Shanghai weekend. If you complete another order and complete the payment within today, you can also get a 15 yuan discount coupon. You can get more and more gifts, and the face value will increase! You can get up to 4 free." It can be seen that Didi’s discount is no less than Meituan.

  Xiaoxue, a passenger in Shanghai, told Beiqing Daily that she now takes the express train every day to and from get off work. "Every time I take a taxi, I open Didi and Meituan at the same time. According to the comparison of the estimated prices calculated by them, I will choose which one has more discounts." Xiaoxue said that the current estimated prices of the two are the prices after reducing the coupons, eliminating the complicated process of calculating and comparing by myself. "Recently, my experience is still that Didi is cheap, and I use Didi more." She showed her two apps to the Beiqing Daily reporter. There are three coupons in Meituan’s account, two 30% off coupons up to 14 yuan and a 10 yuan taxi red envelope; there are nine coupons in Didi’s account, including two 15 yuan, one 14 yuan, three 60% off coupons with a maximum reduction of 16 yuan and three 40% off coupons with a maximum reduction of 12 yuan. Shanghai passenger Xiao Huang also said that there are ten Didi coupons in his Didi account, mainly during the peak period of the express train, with a maximum reduction of 14 yuan; Meituan account has four coupons, three express and one taxi, unlimited time.

  In the face of Meituan’s entry, Didi has some pressure. Ge Jia believes that this pressure is not because of the fear that Meituan will overthrow Didi, but because Didi is worried about the loss of its monopoly position. After Didi acquired Uber China, it was basically in a dominant position, and now it has not achieved profitability. The losses caused by subsidies in previous years have not been made up, and it is necessary to face powerful new entrants. The pressure is not too big.


  Didi and Meituan billing methods are almost identical

  The Beiqing Daily reporter noticed that the current basic billing methods of Meituan and Didi are almost exactly the same. The pricing methods of both are mileage fee plus time fee, plus long-distance fee beyond 20 kilometers, with a minimum consumption of 14 yuan. The mileage fee is 2.3 yuan/km during ordinary hours, 3.2 yuan/km from 22:00 to 5:00; the time fee is 0.6 yuan/minute during ordinary hours, and 0.7 yuan/minute during morning and evening peaks; the long-distance fee is 0.8 yuan/km.

  The reporter of Beiqing Daily compared the estimated price of several apps such as Didi and Meituan, and found that in Shanghai, Didi’s estimate is relatively cheap by a few yuan. Previously, Didi has said that the estimated price is only a reference price, which is based on passenger positioning, real-time road conditions, estimated mileage and estimated duration, and may vary from the final actual price.

  For example, starting from Longming Road Haode, the destination is Kintetsu Hongqiao Center, about 4 kilometers away. Meituan Express has an estimated price of about 4.54 yuan after deducting 12 yuan from the coupon, Didi Express has an estimated price of about 3.4 yuan after deducting 14 yuan from the coupon, and the preferential driver is 6.7 yuan.

  Starting from Haode, Longming Road, the destination is Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital, about 6 kilometers away. The estimated price of Meituan Express is 20.21 yuan after deducting the coupon, Didi Express is about 18 yuan after deducting, and Privilege driver is 22.9 yuan.

  Starting from Longming Road Haode, the destination is Pudong Airport, about 48 kilometers away. The estimated price of Meituan Express is 161.86 yuan, and the estimated price of Didi is 151.3 yuan.

  All of the above routes show that Meituan Express can get on the bus in one minute, while Didi Express needs to wait for four or five minutes. However, in interviews, several users reported that the waiting time was inaccurate. They have encountered situations where Meituan shows that it can get on the bus in one minute, but can’t get a car after waiting for a few minutes.

  In addition, Shanghai’s Yidao also launched the "Earn bounties every day, 1 billion waiting for you to share" activity on March 23. After clicking on the activity link shared by the user and receiving the coupon, friends can also get a 50% discount coupon and get a red envelope, up to 99 yuan. Yidao’s billing standard is 1.8 yuan to 3.2 yuan/km + 0.8 yuan/minute, and the long-distance surcharge is 0.8 yuan/km. That is to say, in the case of flat peak, the mileage fee of 1.8 yuan/km is lower than that of Didi and Meituan 2.3 yuan/km, but the time fee is slightly higher. In the absence of the coupon, Yidao’s 4-kilometer journey is estimated at 16 yuan, the 6-kilometer journey is estimated at 28 yuan, and the 48-kilometer journey is estimated at 153 yuan.

  The relatively high-end Shenzhou special car and Shouqi car-booking have not launched more vigorous activities recently, but still continue to charge 100 back to 20 and other daily activities, which may be related to the different target customers of special cars and express trains. According to the experiment, the above-mentioned 4-kilometer itinerary of Shenzhou special car is estimated to be 28 yuan, the 6-kilometer itinerary is estimated to be 38.5 yuan, and the 48-kilometer itinerary is estimated to be 221.5 yuan. Shouqi’s 4-kilometer itinerary is estimated to be 31 yuan, the 6-kilometer itinerary is estimated to be 46 yuan, and the 48-kilometer itinerary is estimated to be 217 yuan.


  The express driver can use whichever one has the most subsidies.

  As the core resource of online car-hailing, express drivers are more looking forward to the arrival of Meituan than passengers. Meituan previously promoted that it only took 8% in Nanjing and "zero commission" for the first three months in Shanghai. At the same time, Didi has been taking about 20%. Meituan said: The reason for the relatively low commission ratio is that we believe that the business of taxi-hailing is a platform attribute, and the platform side only provides a transaction platform for information matching. In other words, from buying a car, hiring a driver to sending consumers home, it is not done by the platform itself. It is precisely because this platform is relatively light that we feel that the commission does not have to be too high, which should be a more reasonable level in this industry.

  Just as passengers who "choose whichever one is cheaper", several drivers in Shanghai also said that "whichever platform subsidizes more, choose which platform to run." One driver said that he used two mobile phones to hang Meituan and Didi at the same time, and ran on both sides. Another driver said that although he has signed a "guaranteed reward" contract with Didi, if Meituan’s subsidy is particularly awesome, he will not hesitate to default and give up Didi’s reward, considering that Meituan platform accepts orders.

  On the driver’s side, Meituan has set up different reward rules based on the different operating conditions of drivers to meet the needs of different drivers. Take the Germinal rewards for full-time drivers as an example, which are divided into fare awards, ladder awards, and bi-weekly awards. For example, when a driver runs a single fare of 2,200 yuan a week, he can get a reward of 800 yuan. Drivers who perform well can also apply to participate in the Raptor Award activity and become Raptor drivers after successful promotion. The Raptor Award is more powerful than the Germinal Award. In addition, the driver will subsidize 10% to 40% of the order amount per order at the specified time and area, with a cap of 20 yuan; and as long as the driver completes at least 10 valid orders per day and stays online for 10 hours, Meituan will reward it with "600 yuan guaranteed minimum, and 200 yuan excess reward". One driver said that he "registered Meituan when Meituan called before, and waited for Meituan to come." Currently, he runs for more than ten hours a day, and can earn nearly 1,000 yuan with rewards.

  At the same time, Didi also heavily subsidizes drivers in various forms. For example, if you complete an order at a specified time, you will receive a subsidy of 16 to 20 yuan for each order, 24 yuan for each order during peak hours, and 240 yuan for completing 24 orders during peak hours. For newly registered drivers, Didi has launched an activity where you can get a 300 yuan reward for completing 3 orders. In addition, drivers can also recommend new passengers of the express train. If you recommend a new passenger to use the express car to take a taxi, you can get a 10 yuan cash reward, which is not capped. Didi also launched a guaranteed reward, which is online for 10 hours a day, and the guaranteed amount is 600 yuan; online for 14 hours, the guaranteed amount is 800 yuan. A screenshot of the main page of a driver’s car shows that the driver received 20 orders a day, and with the reward of Didi, the current flow this month has reached 13,469 yuan.

  One Didi driver told the Beijing Youth Daily that he had been using Didi for several years, but that he was dissatisfied with some aspects of Didi: "For example, the passenger is closest to me, but Didi will not send this order to me. He prefers to send it to the distant one, which is euphemistically afraid of swiping the order. As a result, some passengers saw a car nearby and directly recruited, and in the end both drivers were victimized." He also said that many drivers have reported encountering such problems.


  High subsidies bring problems such as swiping orders

  According to a report by the local media outlet Oriental Net, many Meituan drivers have swiped orders in order to earn more subsidies. One driver said that now every order is rewarded, and he won a "combo award" for swiping orders the day before, with 8 yuan and 10 yuan. "After swiping the order, you have to give the money you earn from Meituan to others [who help you swipe the order] five or five points."

  Although Meituan has taken measures such as fines, all kinds of swiping behavior still exist, and even "professional swiping" people have emerged. According to "jargon", such people are called "little nurses", who specialize in "injections" for drivers. According to a little nurse, the specific method is to ask the driver to tell him the location and license plate, and then he can use the software to virtually locate next to the driver to order a car, and hit a few hundred meters at random. After the driver receives the order and runs a few hundred meters to the destination, he will pay the fare, and the driver will then give him half of the actual profit.

  In this regard, Sun Shu, senior director of regional operations at Didi, said that the stage from zero to one requires certain subsidies and marketing actions. We understand that (we are all experienced), but if the subsidy is too high (200% of the unit price of customers), it will lead to black production and brush orders, which will cause great trauma to the entire travel industry.

  However, Ge Jia believes that the problem of brush orders and black products does not seem to be brought about by high subsidies alone. Even in the absence of subsidies, there are also brush orders and black products, but high subsidies are definitely helpful for these gray things. I believe that Didi also does not want to repeat the mistakes of the bloody war of subsidies in previous years and enter a new arms race. The new entrant Meituan also needs to learn lessons from the previous subsidy war to curb the appearance of brush orders and black products as much as possible while subsidizing. Experts say that we should be vigilant against violations such as brush orders brought about by the subsidy war and increase market supervision.

  Ding Daoshi told the Beiqing Daily reporter that in fact, this industry needs technological innovation the most. "Now we take a taxi, and we often find that the system will send a car a few kilometers away, but the nearby driver can’t grab the order. I think this is a problem with the recommendation mechanism. Another example is swiping the order. If it can be solved, the cost can be used for marketing activities. If these technical problems can be solved, maybe there is no need to subsidize, and the user will choose you." In addition, Ding Daoshi talked about the issue of dynamic price increase. He said that the dynamic price increase mechanism is not transparent at present. In extreme weather and peak periods, there is still room for improvement in technology. " Didi’s technology in the transportation industry should be the strongest, and it is also open to other players; and Meituan’s advantage in the O2O life field is also unmatched by Didi. Instead of burning money like this, it is better to cooperate. Their cooperation space is quite large. "

  By our reporter, Wen Jing