Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it has formed a joint venture with British oil major BP to build electric vehicle charging stations across China.
The JV is Didi’s latest effort to expand its business beyond ride hailing. Didi last year invested $1 billion in a new subsidiary that provides automobile-related services such as car insurance, maintenance and auto loans. The unit also provides drivers with gas station services, but Didi has struggled to expand that business in a market dominated by state-owned oil companies. And now, Didi is seeking a new opportunity by focusing on electric car charging stations.
The expansion into auto-related services is one of Didi’s most important new initiatives. Didi last year told potential investors that such services could generate $33 billion in annual transactions by 2022.