Chinese firm-backed car-hailing challenges Uber in London

Updated 2017-09-05 10:00:51 chinadaily.com.cn

Cab-hailing service Taxify, which recently partnered with Chinese transportation platform Didi Chuxing, is to take on Uber and other taxi firms in London.

From Tuesday, the Estonia-based company will offer Londoners promotional rates of up to 50 percent off during September.

The company will charge 0.39 pounds (.5) per kilometer, 8 pence per minute and 1.25 pounds at the start of a trip for the rest of the month.

Taxify "will always be cheaper than Uber", the company's founder Markus Villig told Reuters on Monday.

Villig has previously claimed that Taxify is on average 10 percent cheaper than Uber in cities where both companies operate.

Taxify said in an email it will compensate the September discounted rate to its drivers "so they will continue to earn more than with other platforms".

So far, 3,000 drivers in London have signed up to the Taxify platform.

Finn Geraghty, the company's operations manager for the UK, told China Daily in an earlier interview that the company hoped favorable commission rates will attract London drivers to sign on to its service.

The company takes 15 percent of the price of a ride, compared to Uber's 25 percent commission.

"Because we take less commission we see it as a very compelling offer to the existing private-hire drivers in London - and we've already seen some really strong demand from them,"Geraghty said.

Last month, Chinese company Didi Chuxing announced it had invested an undisclosed amount in Taxify and had entered into a strategic partnership with the company.

Didi is one of the world's largest mobile transportation platform, with around 400 million users signed up to its taxi, minibus and bike-sharing services.

Uber sold its China operations to Didi in 2016.

Villig launched his business in 2013 and has since expanded into 19 countries across Central Europe and Africa. Currently the business serves 2.5 million customers.

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