T3 Chuxing started out in 2019 with a plan to develop a national ride-hailing network to rival Didi. Backed by three of China’s biggest state-owned carmakers – Chang’an, Dongfeng and FAW – it launched with a different model to Didi. Rather than offering a platform that brings together third-party drivers and customers, T3 hires and employs its own drivers. Its vehicles are also sourced from the founding shareholders.

The ride hailing platform picked up pace last summer when Didi ran into intense difficulties with local regulators angered by its decision to push ahead with an IPO in New York. In an internal letter that leaked to the press, T3’s management urged staff to take advantage of Didi’s crisis. Daily orders for rides exceeded 2 million for the first time by the end of September last year, the company said, which was more than double its daily peak just a few months earlier.

A group led by Citic, the country’s largest state-owned financial conglomerate, invested Rmb7.7 billion ($1.2 billion) in a Series A funding that closed last October.

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