A mainland China transportation firm similar to Uber has been promoting its services in Hong Kong amid a crackdown on illegal taxis in the city.

Kuaidi One is a transportation service company backed by Alibaba. It has been operating in Hong Kong since early July.

The firm has been compared to Uber as both companies were targeting customers who are seeking taxi rental services in Hong Kong.

Kuaidi One has been operating in Hong Kong since July. Photo: Kuaidi One.

Kuaidi One recently launched promotional campaigns at shopping malls in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. New customers received HK$100 coupons.

Taxi drivers filed police reports alleging that Kuaidi One rental cars did not have third party risks insurance, according to a report in the Hong Kong Economic Times.

In February, its mother company Kuaidi Group merged with its main competitor in China, Didi Dache.

The group currently leads the Greater China’s car-service app industry in terms of market share and transaction volume, according to Kuaidi’s website.

Kuaidi One app and its services. Photo: Kuaidi One.

Following the crackdown on hire car companies, the government released a statement on Friday saying that it is “open to applying technology to the transport area.” It also stated that such services “must comply with Hong Kong’s laws, to take care of passengers’ benefits and safety.”

Uber, a mobile car service app, was targeted by authorities earlier this week as police raided its office and took away three staffers and seven drivers.

A GoGoVan driver pleaded guilty at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to driving/using a private car for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, as well as driving without third party risks insurance.

By law, vehicles carrying passengers for hire must obtain a hire car permit from the government. Violation of the law may result in a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment of three months on the first conviction, and a fine of HK$10,000 and up to six months’ imprisonment on the second conviction.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.