Reply To: Uber Banned in China?

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Avatar photoCharlie

I doubt it’s ‘significantly more expensive’ than Uber but their service is certainly not inferior (by the way many of their drivers are also Uber drivers).

Their starting price is 2x People’s Uber. It’s more expensive because it’s not being subsidized by a company that’s worth $40 billion and currently on a mission to destroy the worldwide taxi industry and replace it with something much better.

But I am not their agent to persuade you into using them. I anyway doubt that ‘bunch of foreigners’ can make any difference irrespective of what we think.

If you think that Uber’s fight for survival in China is about foreigners, you are mistaken. It is a major issue for the tens of thousands of locals drivers and passengers. There are 10x more people involved in the Uber dispute in Chengdu than there are even foreigners in Chengdu, and I imagine that only a small minority of foreigners in Chengdu are taking Uber on a regular basis anyway.

I am just a bit surprised that you never used them (and probably do not know anyone who did use them except of me now) but you selected not to believe what I say because you already know ‘their service is inferior’ … By the way even Uber in here uses Chinese drivers and they provide Chinese service which you, for some strange reason, in one case consider sub par and in the other one superior (just because you probably ‘delude’ yourself that one has nothing in common with China and therefore must be superior … ). I am not sure what will be China approach towards Uber.

I’m actually very open to trying it to compare. Here are some things I have noticed so far:

  • There are zero reviews in the App Store. Looks like no one is using this app.
  • I install the app, register an account, and look for a car. The nearest one is 10 minutes away. Uber is 2 minutes.
  • Their app looks like an exact clone of Uber

I took an Uber yesterday and had a lengthy conversation with the driver. I mentioned 专车一号 and here is what he said: “Not many people use it. There aren’t many passengers, and there aren’t many drivers. Some of my friends registered as drivers on 专车一号 and Uber at the same time, but were approved on 专车 first, so they did that. But they couldn’t make any money because there weren’t enough passengers, so they switched to Uber and haven’t gone back.” I asked him if 专车一号 was a clone of Uber and he laughed and said “Of course” as if it were a stupid question.

I’m not saying that the opinion of a single driver is equivalent to the absolute truth on this app – I will complete registration and try it out, because I am interested in trying all the options and comparing. But saying that 专车一号 is better than Uber strikes me as saying that a CoolPad Chinese smartphone is better than an iPhone. Uber is simply the gold standard by which all other ride-sharing apps are measured, including very good American-based services like Lyft, let alone blatant Chinese copycats like 专车一号.