Date
25 September 2017
Alibaba and Tencent  are offering subsidies again to promote their taxi-hailing app business but this time, a price war is unlikely. Photo: AFP
Alibaba and Tencent are offering subsidies again to promote their taxi-hailing app business but this time, a price war is unlikely. Photo: AFP

Alibaba, Tencent at it again but price war ruled out

Tencent and Alibaba are again ratcheting up their rivalry in the taxi-hailing business by offering subsidies, the Hong Kng Economic Journal reported Thursday.

However, the move is not expected to revive cut-throat price competition seen in recent months.

Kuaidi Dache, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s taxi-hailing app, has unveiled a nationwide promotion offering random taxi passengers 1 yuan to 10 yuan (US$1.61) worth of coupon for their next ride.

The coupons have expiry dates and can only be redeemed for taxi services paid for via Kuaidi’s platform, according to reports.

The move came a week after Tencent Holdings Ltd. (00700.HK) started offering 5 yuan to 10 yuan in pocket money to every customer that downloads its Didi Dache mobile app.

Observers said the expiry dates suggest a price war is out of the question, with players beginning to realize that throwing money at customers as an inducement is not the right approach. 

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VW/AC/RA

Freelance journalist

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