In Beijing, getting a cab might not be an easy task for non-Mandarin speakers. Source: Shutterstock

China’s Didi targets affluent clients with Premier service

QUITE a few of China’s leading services and platforms are digital, but most only offer support to Mandarin speakers.

It’s one of the biggest problems foreign professionals, tourists, and business travelers face when in China. As a result, there’s a strong demand (from these groups) for services and platforms that offer support to English speakers as well.

Chinese mobile transportation platform Didi Chuxing has spotted that need and has decided to upgrade its major high-end ‘Premier’ Service, to offer higher-quality and more individualized services to users – including extended support for English speaking customers.

The upgrades include a rebranding of the service and a new logo, a dedicated round-the-clock customer service hotline in Chinese and English, new in-trip online services. and improved personalized services like raincoats, air purifiers, and massage seats.

According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, DiDi Premier aims to launch an independent app that will run parallel to the main DiDi app to capture the fast-growing market of frequent high-end users.

The company has also recently unveiled the first generation of its in-vehicle smart voice assistant.

In the future, the smart voice assistant will be able to help Premier and other users access information, obtain service responses, make calls and adjust in-vehicle environment for a more intelligent, safer, and convenient ride.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), upgrades to the Didi Premier service are part of a broader effort to enhance the user experience across Didi’s mobility services.

“China is gradually leading the world in bike-sharing, ride-sharing, and smart traffic management, and that should include car-on-demand services as well. We expect to see the rise of more exciting family brands as we broaden our business to cover the entire transportation industry chain,” Cheng Wei, founder and chief executive of the company told the SCMP.

Didi’s first non-taxi offering was launched in 2014. Later, the release of a Premier service marked the company’s efforts to diversify its product, which now includes 11 services – right from bike-sharing to car rentals.

The company’s efforts to launch support for English speakers will be rewarded if it strikes a chord with the city’s affluent expats and tourists, who are otherwise forced to rely on expensive hotel-cabs and lease tourist cars with English speaking drivers.