From South China Morning Post, via Thomas Beyer:
A Chinese carmaker has launched a vehicle sharing service in Shenzhen by offering a special deal on rental prices that works out cheaper than bike sharing.
GoFun, a car-sharing platform backed by state-owned Shouqi Group, said has put 300 new energy vehicles into service in the southern Chinese city, considered to be China’s Silicon Valley.
The rental cost is just one yuan (US$0.16) per kilometre plus 0.1 yuan per minute, which works out at about half the cost of using Chinese ride hailing service Didi Chuxing. However, new customers can take advantage of a special deal of one yuan for three hours of driving, which is even cheaper than bike-sharing services in the city.
“It is a common strategy for technology companies to use low prices or even free services to attract new users,” said Zhao Ziming, a senior analyst at Beijing-based consultancy Cyzone. “The price will go back to normal when the companies gain a certain market share.”
Carmakers like Shouqi Group are looking to develop vehicle sharing services based on the assumption that future consumers would rather make short-term use of those assets than owning them outright. In February, Didi Chuxing teamed up with 12 Chinese carmakers to develop an electric-vehicle sharing platform.