Looking at the abacus behind the aggregation platform from Gaode taxi

  What taxi-hailing software do you usually use?

  In July 2017, AutoNavi launched the first aggregate taxi service business in China.

  The so-called aggregated ride-hailing model is to gather many online ride-hailing operators on one platform, and users can use one software to book ride-hailing services on different platforms.

Converged travel platform means that the enterprise acts as an open platform and is open to third-party travel service providers, connecting the third-party platform with a large number of users.

Therefore, in a strict sense, the aggregated ride-hailing platform belongs to the fourth party platform.

  The Red Star Capital Bureau noted that under the impetus of the aggregated ride-hailing model, the current domestic ride-hailing platforms can be divided into three types: the first category, purely self-operated non-aggregated travel platforms; the second category, self-operated + aggregated travel platforms ; The third category, pure aggregate travel platform.

  How to evaluate the aggregated taxi-hailing model?

Is the aggregation model itself a good business?

The Red Star Capital Bureau will start from AutoNavi, which was the first to launch the aggregation taxi business, to talk about the development logic of the aggregation platform.

  The birth of an aggregated taxi-hailing platform

  ①Incremental market: the "cash-burning war" in the online car-hailing market

  In the past few years, my country's online car-hailing market has developed rapidly.

On the one hand, it benefits from the rapid popularization of smart phones in my country and the rapid increase in urbanization rate; on the other hand, it is related to the limited development of my country's traditional taxi business.

Wind data show that from 2000 to 2019, the number of taxi licenses in my country increased from about 900,000 to about 1.1 million, with an average annual growth rate of less than 2%.

  In the era of traditional taxis, it is normal for consumers to "have difficulty in taking taxis", which has catalyzed the development of online car-hailing.

  In May 2013, there were more than 40 kinds of taxi-hailing software in China, and online taxi-hailing platforms began to "strategy".

Like other competitions in the consumer Internet field, the initial play of online car-hailing revolved around two words: "burning money."

  In the raging money-burning campaign, the incremental market for online car-hailing has been greatly released, and has since gradually entered the stock market.

  According to CNNIC data, the number of online car-hailing users in my country reached 340 million at the end of 2017. After that, the growth rate of online car-hailing users in my country has slowed down significantly. It can be considered that the user coverage of shared travel apps has been quite high.

  In other words, online car-hailing cars have entered the stock market, and subsequent consumption will mainly come from the increase in the frequency of usage of stock users.

  ②Stock market:

  Aggregation platforms are coming out one after another

  In 2017, the pre-education of users in the domestic online car-hailing market has basically been completed.

At this time, this market ushered in some players with their own traffic.

  In July 2017, the AutoNavi Express platform was officially launched. Didi Chuxing, Shenzhou Special Vehicle, Shouqi Car-hailing, Mobike, Fliggy and other travel service providers were connected, creating a new online car-hailing business model—aggregation platform.

At that time, Yu Yongfu, President of AutoNavi Group, said: "The launch of AutoNavi's platform is an important step in the upgrade of AutoNavi's travel strategy."

  After AutoNavi, in October 2017, Baidu (0988.HK/BIDU.US) launched an aggregate taxi service; in April 2019, Meituan (03690.HK) also launched an aggregate taxi service.

  Looking back at the top Internet companies, the development path is often inseparable from the new, retention and conversion of users.

Whether it is AutoNavi, Baidu or Meituan, before joining the aggregated ride-hailing business, the platform's monthly active users reached hundreds of millions.

These stock users will become the natural traffic pool for their online car-hailing business, and they aim at the “flow of time” for users' high-frequency travel scenarios.

  For Didi, the launch of aggregation platforms such as AutoNavi and Baidu will undoubtedly dilute its traffic.

  Therefore, in June 2019, Didi Chuxing entered the "aggregation platform" model to provide traffic entrances for third parties.

Didi Chuxing has successively connected to a number of third-party platforms, including Miaozou Taxi, Ruqi Travel, Zebra Run, Dongfeng Travel, and old rival Cao Cao Travel.

  How to define the aggregation taxi mode?

  ①Fourth party platform: light asset flow business

  For fourth-party platforms such as AutoNavi, aggregate taxi-hailing is a light asset flow business in terms of business model.

  First, the cost is lower.

Since the aggregation platform only allocates user traffic and does not provide travel services, the cost is lower.

  In fact, if the leading Internet companies want to run taxi services independently, they cannot avoid the pressure of continuing to burn money.

Take Meituan as an example. In 2018, Meituan operated its online car-hailing business in Nanjing and Shanghai in a purely self-operated mode. Faced with high market entry barriers, it had to adopt a high subsidy strategy to attract drivers and users.

Meituan's 2018 annual financial report showed that the company's annual net loss reached 8.52 billion yuan. One of the reasons for the loss was the increase in costs related to online car-hailing drivers.

  It can be seen that relying on the high-cost subsidy model, Internet platforms such as Meituan independently do taxi-hailing business, and it has been difficult to meet the goal of sustainable profitability in the later period.

  From the very beginning, AutoNavi aimed at aggregated ride-hailing services, cooperating directly with third-party platforms, and doing business on third-party platforms, so the cost and capital risk are low.

  The second is to improve the ecosystem.

With the help of high-frequency ride-hailing services, the head Internet platform can further consolidate its own traffic advantages.

Cooperation with third-party platforms means that the strengthening of the supply side can help its original core business by satisfying more needs of users and increasing user stickiness.

  For AutoNavi, the core lies in the formation of an ecological closed loop around the travel business, and the taxi-hailing business is an important part of AutoNavi's business scenarios.

At the same time, for the entire Ali (AutoNavi delisted from Nasdaq in 2014 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ali), AutoNavi is an important part of Ali’s business. Through continuous improvement of AutoNavi’s business, it will consolidate Ali The moat of the system.

  ②Third-party platform:

  Flat traffic acquisition

  For third-party SMEs, the aggregation platform is an important "backing" for their own development.

  In the early stages of the development of online car-hailing, the head effect has been formed in the money-burning war; for small-scale long-tail SMEs with few users, who want to seek sustained and stable development in the market competition, access to the aggregation platform is a relatively better choice .

  On March 3, 2021, AutoNavi announced that more than 60 online car-hailing companies have joined the "Commission-Free Alliance".

  On September 26, 2021, the "Beijing Taxi" jointly created by Beijing Taxi and Car Rental Association and AutoNavi Taxi is also officially launched. Small and medium-sized taxi companies in Beijing will be integrated into operation in batches, with more than 100 in the first phase. Small and medium-sized domestic taxi companies joined.

  Eliminate "middlemen" and directly connect with small and medium-sized enterprises.

For AutoNavi and the company, it may be a "win-win" opportunity.

  Is aggregation mode a good business?

  Is aggregation mode a good business?

For the aggregation platform and the third-party platform, the perspective of this issue is different.

  ① The fourth-party platform: the number of complaints has skyrocketed, safety issues, and regulatory dilemmas

  The challenges faced by aggregation platforms like AutoNavi are mainly focused on the user experience and industry supervision.

  On the one hand, there are many third-party online ride-hailing service providers currently stationed in AutoNavi, and the platform lacks binding force on third-party ride-hailing companies, resulting in a series of problems with poor ride-hailing experience.

  At the beginning of July 2021, 25 apps such as "Didi Enterprise Edition" were removed from the shelves. Since then, a large number of ride-hailing users have flown to AutoNavi. However, the number of complaints related to AutoNavi taxi has also increased sharply.

According to the black cat complaint statistics, in July, AutoNavi’s taxi-hailing complaints increased by 168% month-on-month and a surge of 1131% year-on-year. The most complaints from consumers were that the actual price was higher than the estimated price, the driver did not pick up on time, and the location did not pick up. .

  On the other hand, travel safety issues.

Aggregate ride-hailing platforms generally stipulate in the agreement that a third-party online ride-hailing platform is responsible for security, which means that in theory, it does not need to shoulder security responsibilities.

  But if users use AutoNavi platform to take a taxi, if there is a safety accident, AutoNavi can really get rid of the "pot"?

  At the beginning of September this year, the Ministry of Transport, together with member units of the Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference on Coordination and Supervision of New Transport Types, such as the Central Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Administration of Market Supervision, offered T3 travel, Meituan travel, Cao Cao travel, and Gaode taxi rides. 11 online car-hailing platform companies conducted joint interviews.

The interview banned some violations, and required all platform companies to examine their own problems, immediately rectify non-compliant behaviors, jointly maintain a fair and competitive market order, and jointly create a good environment for the standardized and healthy development of the online car-hailing industry.

  On September 8, according to the official WeChat account of the Ministry of Transport, the "Notice on Maintaining Fair Competition Market Order and Accelerating the Advancement of Online Car-hailing Compliance" was recently issued, requiring local transportation authorities to urge online car-hailing platform companies to comply with laws and regulations. Carry out operations and speed up the process of online car-hailing compliance.

  With the continuous strengthening of supervision and the continuous improvement of regulatory policies, the current "exemption" clauses of aggregate online car-hailing platforms may partially disappear, and for aggregate platforms, they will also face greater regulatory challenges.

  ②Third-party platforms: it may "treat the symptoms but not the root cause"

  For third-party platforms, the reason why they are willing to join an aggregation platform like AutoNavi is mainly because they need to rely on the advantages of aggregation platform traffic; but for small and medium-sized platforms, aggregation platforms may not be conducive to their long-term development.

  First of all, from the perspective of market competition, as mentioned above, nowadays, there are a large number of online car-hailing companies joining AutoNavi and other aggregation platforms, and the order of recommendation for aggregation platforms when users get a taxi is generally low price first, and users can also do it themselves. Manually select the price range.

  Generally speaking, the lower the price, the greater the chance of being "selected" by users, and "the one with the lowest price" may become the norm for aggregated taxi-hailing platforms in the future.

This may lead to the continuation of the "price war" among online car-hailing companies; for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is difficult to cultivate user stickiness, and it is not conducive to future development.

  Secondly, from the perspective of the cooperation model with the aggregation platform, as the voice of the aggregation platform becomes louder in the future, the voice of the third-party platform will also become smaller and smaller.

If these third-party platforms do not have their own user advantages, they may become the "foundries" of the aggregation platform in the future, and the aggregation platform will continue to control the right to speak.

In the future, aggregation platforms may also further "press" third-party platforms to put more revenue sharing into their own pockets, while third-party platforms themselves appear to be more passive.

  summary

  By "burning money" to become a dominant company in the taxi market, this model is difficult to replicate under the new model of policy supervision and aggregation platforms.

  Since the second half of this year, both aggregation platforms such as AutoNavi and other online car-hailing companies have intensified their efforts to introduce various welfare measures to rob drivers and users.

But this year's "battle" is more rational than the 2015 money-burning war.

  Aggregate ride-hailing platforms may be an important direction in the ride-hailing market, but before that, companies still need to establish a comprehensive management system for third-party platforms to improve consumer experience and strive to ensure ride safety.

  Chengdu Commercial Daily-Red Star News reporter Yu Yao and Liu Mi

Keywords: autonavi, platform, platforms, taxi service business, model, the red star capital bureau, car-hailing, party platform, services, car-hailing market, software, business, abacus, money, aggregation platform