China’s Popular Car booking Service Is Looking To expand Into The U.S.
Yongche.com, China’s largest mobile car-sharing service wants to compete against the popular U.S. market leader Uber technologies by offering its Mandarin-speaking drivers in two U.S. cities.
The Chinese rider sharing application is planning to launch it services in San Francisco and New York, expand its current network of 57 cities in China and Hong Kong. In order for them to have a better change at competing against Uber and differentiate its own service, Yonche shall provide drivers who can speak Mandarin so Chinese visitors in the two U.S. cities won’t have to rely on language guidebooks to get to their destination.
“Most Chinese don’t speak English and find it difficult to communicate with foreign drivers after they land in another country,” Herman Zhou, founder and CEO of Yongche told Bloomberg in an interview in Beijing. “We will have Chinese-speaking drivers in the U.S. and other places to make it seamless and stress-free.”
With Chinese travelers make a total of 98 million trips overseas during the past year, up 18 percent from the previous year, Zhou is quite confident that his company will be valued as much as Uber’s own US$17 billion, based on its latest round of funding done in two years.
Yongche currently has over 2 million active users and 50,000 registered cars in over 57 cities all over China and Hong Kong, and has plans to expand their network up to 150 cities by 2015 and grow its user base 10 times that.
According to Zhou, the company plans to also include Los Angeles and Boston onto its U.S. coverage, and its targeting launch its service in Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, London, and Frankfurt. These cities have been known to be often visited by Chinese travelers, he stated.
“We want to prove to the world that the competition between Uber and Yongche.com isn’t that of a global and local company, but a match-up of two different business models. They can come to China, we can also expand and compete with them in the U.S.,” he noted.
During February, Uber had launched its services in China through a partnership with car rental company Chenghuan in Shanghai. A spokesperson then stated that this was not an exclusive deal and Uber was searching to establish several partners in the country, like it’s done in other cities.