Date
23 March 2017
China’s rapidly growing car-sharing market is showing great potential for alternative services. Photo: Reuters
China’s rapidly growing car-sharing market is showing great potential for alternative services. Photo: Reuters

GM buys into Chinese car-sharing company

General Motors Co. has invested in Chinese car-sharing company Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology Co.

It’s the latest foray by the US auto giant into alternative transport services, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Yi Wei Xing works with car-rental companies and allows customers to rent cars by the minute, hour or day through its smartphone app, Feezu.

Established in 2014, the company operates in more than 40 Chinese cities.

“Every market has its unique requirements for car-sharing services,” said Julia Steyn, GM vice president of Urban Mobility Programs.

“Yi Wei Xing has solid technologies and innovations that will help us explore more efficient and personalized mobility solutions for consumers in China.”

Global auto makers are expanding into the car-sharing segment in response to fast-growing ride-hailing and car-sharing services offered by technology companies like Uber Technologies Inc. Auto executives are concerned that more consumers would rather borrow cars than own them.

GM’s investment in Yi Wei Xing follows the launch of Maven, which provides short-term car rentals, earlier this year and a US$500 million investment in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc.

BMW AG runs a car-sharing service called DriveNow, which competes against rivals such as Daimler AG’s Car2Go.

Ford Motor Co. in June unveiled plans for car-sharing projects in select cities in the US and in London.

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