Slowing down: Ride-hailing apps experience more woes as 2016 comes to a close
THE transport-hailing space has seen its share of shifts this year, but as 2016 wraps up, there’s more bad news than good.
For starters, we just reported that Ola has been struggling to continue winning over users as Uber advances on the India market. It launched a passenger-controlled entertainment system that isn’t moving the meter and it’s also headed towards raising the dreaded down-round.
But Ola isn’t alone in all of this, as other key players in the transport-hailing space are also experiencing major setbacks in their business.
Although Uber is the reason why Ola struggles to retain its spot as the market leader, it continues to get blindsided by its worst frenemy. The sale of Uber’s China operations to Didi Chuxing is causing problematic issues to its app.
As the new owner of Uber’s China business, Didi recently rolled out a software update which, according to TechCrunch, “decouples the Uber China app from the Uber global app.” This change means that any visiting Uber users or even permanent residents that aren’t using UnionPay, Alipay or Baidu Wallet won’t be able to use the app.
Uber China/Didi released a statement regarding the change: “We apologize to our users for any inconvenience may be caused by this transition. The Uber China team has been working hard to make the new version faster-responding and more user friendly.”
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) November 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Uber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab is also experiencing end of year woes, as it is losing its first CFO Linda Hoglund after just seven months.
As TC reports, the four-year-old Grab announced Hoglund’s departure as “a part of a reshuffle of its financial management team” and that her responsibilities will be transitioned over to the company’s president, Ming Maa.
Based on the internal announcement of Hoglund’s exit, it seems that the CFO role was temporary from the start — as she had developed Grab’s financial structure and processes in a way that allowed it to scale in the future. The announcement also noted that Hogland’s departure had to do with her wish to be in a more “hands-on, operational role.”
2016 in general hasn’t been a pleasant year for anyone, and based on these latest developments in the transport-hailing space, Uber and its arch rivals Ola and Grab are likely looking forward to a blank slate in the new year.
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