It’s been a rough week for Didi. On July 3, the ride-hailing service was removed from Chinese app stores over “national security” concerns by China’s top internet regulator.
The news led to a significant drop in the company’s stock price following a June 30 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
With Didi now in the limelight, data gathered in 2019 by the Didi Research Institute regarding users in Beijing has recently garnered attention.
The figures reveal some interesting trends within the Chinese capital – not including the inexplicably long wait times.
The data is presented in the form of three infographics. The first infographic shows the most popular pick-up locations before, during and after peak hours in the morning.
The most popular locations are residential areas located between the fifth and sixth ring roads, including Dongba, Yizhuang, Liyuan, Huilongguan and Xisanqi. In these areas, public transport remains relatively underdeveloped.
With so many Beijing residents opting for cheaper accommodation in the suburbs, it’s perhaps not surprising that many hail a Didi in the morning from these areas.
The first infographic showing popular morning pick-up locations. Screengrab via 赫兹实验室/WeChat
A new subway line connecting Yizhuang with Beijing’s CBD and Sanlitun areas is expected to open in part by the end of 2021. The new line is one of many scheduled to open in the coming years in an effort to connect the suburbs with the city center.
The next infographic shows the most popular destinations before, during and after peak hours in the morning.
The second infographic showing popular morning destinations. Screengrab via 赫兹实验室/WeChat
Capital International Airport is the most popular destination at 5am when public transport is unavailable. The same is true for Beijing South station at 6am.
More suburban areas like Yizhuang and Houshayu are also included where public transport is lacking.
Other destinations include commercial areas such as Wangjing and Jianwai Da Jie. These areas are popular drop-off points at around 9am when many in the city are starting their workday.
The third infographic shows the top two locations in five respective categories. Peak times for pick-up and destination are shown for each location.
The third infographic showing different categories of locations. Screengrab via 赫兹实验室/WeChat
In the first category, Yizhuang and Wangjing are listed as the most popular areas in which many people have both their home and office within close vicinity.
As a pick-up location, Yizhuang sees a peak at around 8am when commuters are heading to work. Meanwhile, as a destination, Wangjing sees a peak at around the same time.
As a pick-up location, Wangjing sees a peak after 8pm, reaffirming its status as a high-density commercial area.
The second category shows the most popular residential areas. As a pick-up location, Huilongguan sees a peak just after 8am. Meanwhile, as a destination, peak commuting time occurs after 8pm. The other location listed is Tiantongyuan, which follows a similar pattern to Huilongguan.
The third category shows the most popular work areas. Jianwai Da Jie, located in the Beijing CBD, peaks as a destination at around 8am and as a pick-up location just after 8pm. Jinrong Jie (Financial Street) follows a similar pattern. However, the peak as a destination appears to be slightly earlier at around 5.30pm.
A different picture emerges in the fourth category, which looks at the most popular nightlife areas. Listed are Baiziwan and, of course, the infamous Sanlitun.
In both of these areas, peak times as pick-up locations and destinations are unsurprisingly in the evening after 8pm, confirming that Sanlitun remains a bastion of nightlife in the capital.
The final category looks at the city’s transport hubs. Capital Airport and Beijing South station are included. As a destination, both locations see a peak between 4am and 8am for those catching that early plane or train.
To many Beijing residents, some of this data probably doesn’t come as a surprise.
Perhaps the most revealing trend is in the city’s suburbs. More and more are choosing to live in areas like Yizhuang and Huilongguan as property prices continue to rise in the city center.
While public transport in such areas remains sparser than elsewhere, many appear to go to Didi as their main mode of transport. Like many other cities in China, Beijing is constantly working to extend its public transport network, so hopefully, this will alleviate the long wait times in the future.
For now, this info should help you avoid getting caught in the wrong area while trying to order a Didi.
[Cover image via Pixabay]