November 21, 2018 / 1:42 PM / a month ago

BMW to offer ride hailing services in China from December

FILE PHOTO: The BMW logo is seen on the wheel of a vehicle presented at the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Germany’s BMW (BMWG.DE) plans to launch ride-hailing services in China in December, the first global automaker to obtain such a license in the fast-growing market.

BMW Mobility Service Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group, obtained its ride-hailing license in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China’s southwest, BMW said.

BMW Group said in October it would increase its stake in its Chinese joint venture with partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd (1114.HK) to 75 percent from 50 percent.

China’s ride-hailing market is worth $23 billion, more than all other ride-hailing markets combined, with China’s Didi Chuxing dominating with 90 percent of all bookings, consulting firm Bain & Co said.

Germany’s Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said in October it was setting up a ride-hailing venture in China with Geely Group, in a sign the Chinese firm was making progress in its drive for closer relations with the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars.

(The story refiles to fix spelling of Bain in fourth paragraph.)

Reporting by Sun Yilei in Beijing and Adam Jourdan in Shanghai; Writing by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Edmund Blair

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