HONG KONG -- Didi was a lifeline for Cindy Zhu. The 29-year-old software engineer at Tencent Holdings in Shenzhen relied on China's largest ride-sharing app to get to work every day. But two weeks ago she started to try four other apps after colleagues told her their rates are cheaper than Didi's.
And they were right. Zhu often received 50% discounts for rides ordered through Alibaba-backed AutoNavi, also known as Gaode. As a new user, she also received generous coupons from other apps, including Caocao Mobility, the ride-hailing arm of automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding, and Ruqi Chuxing, a joint venture between Tencent and state-owned GAC Group.