China's going big on ride-hailing. Source: Shutterstock

China’s going big on ride-hailing. Source: Shutterstock

Didi joins forces with Ping An to grow its ride-hailing platform

RIDE-HAILING companies across the globe are forming partnerships with all sorts of businesses to fuel their growth.

In Southeast Asia, Grab and Uber have forged numerous partnerships — to support customers and drivers — and achieved quite a positive response.

More recently, China’s Didi announced a massive partnership between its automobile solutions platform-Xiaoju Automobile Solutions (XAS) and financial services giant Ping An Group.

According to the press release, the parties will cooperate in the areas of car rental & leasing, auto insurance, car maintenance, and EV charging services, to jointly provide affordable, efficient and hassle-free automobile solutions for users.

While XAS isn’t a ride-hailing company by itself, the initiative is a strong indicator of the success of ride-hailing companies and their allied ventures and showcases how they thrive with collaborations with partners that help support customers, especially along its value chain.

In terms of the partnership with Ping An, here are the finer points of the agreement:

Ping An Bank will provide financial services for XAS and its ecosystem partners through Ping An’s “fintech + industry chain” platform. The integrated financial services include financing support for fleet operators, bank account & cash management and retail finance.

The parties will also explore cooperation opportunities with Ping An’s auto-solutions platform – Automotive-related Life – in car rental & leasing, refueling & charging, auto-financing and maintenance.

Ping An’s international financial leasing arm will provide car rental and leasing services for DiDi’s ride-hailing drivers and the public through XAS’ platform.

Meanwhile, XAS will leverage its large user base and data-driven network management capabilities to raise the overall efficiency of shared fleet networks.

Ping An’s property and casualty insurance arm will also work with XAS to create an online auto-insurance management platform through close calibration of their technologies and processes.

Both entities have agreed to leverage their data capabilities to help fleet operators reduce costs. Further, the use of their “internet of vehicles” and DiDi’s data capabilities will help improve settlement efficiency by moving investigation procedures online.

The initiative is also expected to enhance the transparency and traceability of auto-service processes.

Finally, Ping An’s infrastructure investment fund will partner with XAS to jointly develop and operate EV charging services, combining Ping An’s financial resources and smart city infrastructure resources together with DiDi’s data and operational expertise.

Diving into those details provides a strong understanding of why the partnership is a good idea — and also explains how companies, be it in the ride-hailing space or any other — can gain from collaboration.

Ride-hailing companies, especially those with payment wallets that are part of their ecosystem (such as Grab and Ola), are in a unique position to leverage collaborations because they have unfettered access to customers and can create smart profiles based on their historical data about their transactions and journeys.

In the future, more companies are expected to partner with ride-hailing companies — creating all kinds of synergies for their overall digital transformation.