Didi launched self-developed map business “didi map” to replace Gaode

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By Chen qiaohui
Source: Tech planet (ID: tech618)
Original title: after Baidu Gaode, Didi entered the Bureau’s billion level business, where is the “map gun” that does not make money?
Map business is hard to do?
Can always promote a huge flow of “map” business, now there is a new player.
On August 9, tech planet learned exclusively that the travel giant didi quietly launched its self-developed map business – “didi map”. At present, Didi map has appeared in didi taxi interface. Among the maps selected by users independently, the former Gaode map has disappeared.
In the new digital map battlefield joined by “didi map”, Gaode map and Baidu map always occupy the forefront of the industry. Up to now, their monthly lives have exceeded 400 million, which is a matter of pride for any app. In the future, independent app versions will not be excluded.
However, although Baidu map and Gaode have a large amount of traffic, the way to realize the flow has always been difficult to find. They have also expanded new businesses everywhere, such as launching aggregation mode, taxi service, local life service and so on. This is consistent with Didi’s development idea that didi tried local takeaway business in 2018 and planned to launch the aggregation taxi mode in the middle of 2019.
Map this business is not easy to do, has become a true portrayal of Gaode and Baidu map. But where there are people, there are rivers and lakes. Didi has vigorously promoted the map business in recent years. Huawei has also put its own navigation map here wego map on its app gallery. Gaode, baidu map are difficult to make money in a business, instant and lively.
Didi is in need of a bottom-up Internet map to open up new territory for other businesses, and each family has different plans. Compared with Google maps, equity is expected to be one of the most valuable companies to generate revenue in 2020.
With the imaginative prospect, new players are constantly pouring in, and the realization of traffic has also entered the critical stage, and a new map war has opened.
It’s not making money as you think
Baidu map and Gaode map are “old people” who have entered the Bureau for a long time. As rivals, they have gradually widened the gap after years of overt and covert fighting.
According to questmobile’s “China Mobile Internet 2020 half year report”, goldmap ranks the fifth in the whole network with more than 530 million Maus, and its Mau is 110 million ahead of Baidu map, ranking first in the map industry. And the top 5 MAU companies are WeChat, Alipay, mobile phone Taobao, QQ, ranked fifth High German and sixteenth Baidu map seems to have little sense of existence.
It once competed with Gaode for the first place in the map market, but now the data of Baidu map is declining. The main reason is the fierce competition among peers and the marginalization of its strategic position.
During this year’s epidemic, the map based travel industry has been seriously impacted, and the active value of both industry employees and users has been in a cliff like decline. However, with the improvement of the epidemic situation, the demand for travel services has been picking up. According to questmobile’s data, from June last year to June this year, the average monthly use time and the number of times per capita of travel service industry have been greatly increased. However, judging from QM’s latest data, baidu map seems to have failed to seize the growth opportunity.
In addition, the strategic position of Baidu map in Baidu is in an awkward position.
During the period when Lu Qi took charge of Baidu, he once put forward the strategy of “main channel + moat”. After that, Robin Li’s Baidu strategy put forward the idea of “focusing on developing search and information flow”. It is easy to see that two people’s strategic thinking is focused on search, and in this all-round development, Baidu map is more auxiliary business.
Therefore, it is difficult for Baidu map to obtain internal resources, and it will be difficult to carry out other business. How to make profit? And Baidu map’s main income is to rely on advertising and interface call fees, but this is far from enough for the map software that burns money.
Baidu CEO Robin Li said, “the development focus of Baidu map is not realized at present. It is mainly connected with users and services. We value the number of active users, the number of transactions contributed and the interests of users, and the quality and content of these interest points.”
Perhaps the focus of Baidu map is still to do a good job in ecological connection, realization is not an important option at present.
Compared with Baidu map’s Gaode, its strategic position has been greatly improved since it was acquired by Ali. Many of Ali’s businesses, such as flying pigs, takeout services for hungry men, logistics information wrapped by rookies and express tracking of Taobao, have been supported by Gaode, which has become an important connector in Ali’s ecology.
It is also based on this, the High German map fully implement the “Internet plus travel” plan, and achieved good results. However, the increase in the number of users does not mean that the revenue of Gaode map is rising. Like Baidu map, the main revenue is to provide to-b services, advertising and online car Hailing for car companies. However, the revenue volume is still very small, which is not reflected in the financial reports of Ali and Baidu.
Like Robin Li’s idea, Yu Yongfu, the then president of the High German group, said, “it is impossible to make a prediction of the time schedule for the commercialization of Gao de. At present, growth is the top priority.”
“Map software is responsible for providing lbs data capability support. It does not take direct profit as the primary goal, but will try new ways to cash in, such as cooperation with businesses and government,” a Golder employee told tech planet
It seems that map business does not make money this phenomenon, has been the general consensus of the industry, to maintain growth is the current expectation of the map business.
However, baidu map and Gaode did not want to do other business to increase revenue? The answer is no, both sides have done the local life service and online car Hailing service.

In terms of local life services, Gaode map launched the local life content in June, and used the applet as a carrier to connect various local life application scenarios. Users can get coupons and buy goods in the business applet in Gaode by searching the business information in Gaode map, which is favored by businesses and consumers.
In addition, last year, goldmap joined hands with word-of-mouth and hungry to launch takeout business, which helped Gaode to upgrade its local life service again. According to the data provided by word-of-mouth, in the test stage, some womb platform merchants achieved an average daily turnover growth of more than 10 times.
Baidu’s takeout business, baidu takeout, has been renamed “hungry Mae star selection” because it has been acquired by famo. When meituan and hungry Mo started the takeout war, baidu takeout, the third largest in the industry, failed to burn money and grab resources. This has resulted in Baidu map’s takeout business still relying on a third party, which is at a disadvantage in local life services.
In terms of online car Hailing business, gaodezheng has gradually transformed from a traditional map service provider to a travel platform by means of aggregation taxi service. Gaode has access to more than 40 taxi Hailing platforms in its app, which is the largest online car Hailing platform in the aggregation mode. Recently, 27 online car Hailing platforms have jointly launched “dare to sit and dare to pay” to strengthen the attributes and positioning of their own travel platforms. At present, Gaode map network has more than 700000 vehicles per day.
Baidu map also launched the “aggregation taxi” mode to carry out its online car Hailing service. So far, baidu map has been connected to Didi, Shouqi, Caocao, Dida, Ctrip and other online car Hailing services. Its latest online car Hailing daily order volume is 150000, which is much less than that of Gaode.
Over the same period, the daily orders of Caocao and Shouqi reached 400000 and 600000 respectively. Platform than the supplier’s own business, one of the big reasons is Baidu map did not let go to do. Or to focus on the development of map ecology for the sake of AI. For example, recently, baidu maps 15.0.0 highlights the intelligence, including intelligent commuting recommendation, functional personalized recommendation, long-distance travel suggestions and other free services.
The above business attempts, need a long time to verify its effectiveness, profit is still unknown. In the public’s consciousness, map is a free “compass”, such as booking air tickets, takeout and even taking a taxi. Users will prefer more professional products, such as didi travel, meituan takeout, Ctrip and so on. In a short period of time, it can not change the user’s habit of using leading apps in various industries.
Therefore, this also caused the current Baidu map and Gaode map, neither easy to make money, in the development of new profit model can not start the situation, and eventually become the bottom technology providers in the ecology.
Didi’s ambition and Prospect
As an unprofitable map business, Didi’s entry into the Bureau has brought new possibilities.
After years of technical research and development, Didi map and navigation finally met with users in didi travel 6.0.
The exclusive discovery of Tech planet is that “navigation” function is added to the navigation column of didi travel app, and the map with “didi map” logo is used for the first time, and this map is the map developed by Didi.
It is understood that didi navigation function has been applied to the driver’s side before, and it is not open to the public. This didi navigation and the embedded didi map were launched in didi travel app 6.0 recently. At present, the function is only available in more than ten cities such as Shenzhen and Chengdu, and has not been popularized in cities all over the country.
After experiencing didi map, tech planet found that didi map interface was in line with the color of its bicycle brand “Qingju bicycle”, which was quite refreshing.
Compared with Gode map, in addition to the differences in additional functions, there are still large differences in the default map interface between the two maps. Through the comparison of the default maps in the same location, it can be seen that didi map has less display quantity of each street than Gaode map, and some places have not even displayed roads. The roads in the map of gaude not only display more complete, but also can accurately display the roads in the community.
In addition, there are also differences in the names of the two places, such as “No. 9, Liulitun Beili” on didi map and “Liubei community, Liulitun Street” on the map of Didi. In other aspects, such as the marking of cableway and subway, the map of Gaode is more detailed than didi map.
The map on the left is Didi, and the right is the map of Gaode
Generally speaking, there is still a gap between didi map and Gaode map and even Baidu map in terms of experience. However, it is undeniable that didi map is open to users for the first time, which reveals that didi hopes that on the travel of existing online car hailing, Didi map can be used to facilitate the travel of drivers and users, so as to realize “didi travel” in a real sense.
Another important new function of didi travel app is didi navigation, which was previously applied to didi driver client to help didi drivers navigate routes.
After experiencing the navigation in didi travel app on tech planet, it is found that didi navigation and Gode map have the same functions in some aspects, such as the function of Pathfinder and three planned navigation routes for users to choose. But the difference is obvious.
In terms of the fastest time required for the same route, Didi navigation is 2 minutes shorter than Gaud navigation. However, the route explanation provided by didi navigation is not detailed in the alternatives. For example, the route with the shortest time and the route with the least traffic lights will be indicated in option 2 and option 3 on the Gode map.
The left picture shows didi navigation, and the right picture shows Gode navigation
In the process of using didi navigation, we can clearly feel that didi navigation has no intuitive tilt angle in the display of navigation angle of view, and didi navigation does not support displaying the position of electronic eye capture, which will have more or less experience impact for drivers.
The left picture shows didi navigation, and the right picture shows Gode navigation
It is worth noting that didi navigation only supports route planning on the road, and does not support the navigation of cycling, walking and other aspects like other navigation products, which is the deficiency of didi navigation at present.

Didi’s “navigation” and “map” are not surprising.
As Cheng Wei said, after years of operation, Didi has accumulated a large number of passenger and driver data. In the future, Didi will cooperate with relevant departments to collect road information data, such as the location of traffic lights and road conditions. These data will provide a solid data foundation for other businesses in the future. For example, navigation and maps can be generated by combining massive data with maps. Through navigation, automatic driving can be further developed, and this is a new market that major manufacturers are competing for.
Zhang Bo, the CTO of Didi, disclosed the progress of didi in automatic driving earlier, saying that “unmanned vehicle is a major strategic layout of Didi, and there will be unmanned vehicles on the road soon. He Xiaofei, President of didi research institute, will be in charge of didi unmanned vehicle team”. But at that time, Didi lacked a foundation, that is, the map. Baidu can carry out unmanned driving because it has Baidu map, which can ensure the accuracy of car driving. It can be said that map is the foundation of unmanned driving. This can also explain why didi wants to strive for “electronic map grade a surveying and mapping qualification” and establish ditu (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd.
At the end of June this year, Didi finally applied the driverless technology from theory to practice. Didi travel announced that it would open automatic driving service to the public for the first time in Shanghai. With the implementation of automatic driving service, Didi has added an important chip in the process of commercialization.
In addition, once didi is fully integrated into the self-developed map in the field of travel and local life services (including but not limited to didi takeout), all businesses of didi will not be limited to the third party, and the compatibility of didi map and its various services can be dynamically adjusted by continuously accumulating the underlying travel and map data. It can be said that didi map and navigation has great benefits for itself.
Through observation, we can find an interesting phenomenon, that is to say, Didi makes maps because of business needs, while Gaode Baidu itself is a map maker, and then expands its travel and takeout business everywhere. The starting point of the three parties is still very different, but it can be determined that today’s Didi, Baidu and Gaode have more or less overlapping in various businesses, and the competition has begun quietly.
Of course, there is no denying that in terms of traffic, Gaode and Baidu are objects that didi can’t compete with in the short term, which also provides time for Gaode and Baidu to try more business realization. But in the long run, Didi, a new player, has new possibilities. After all, Didi’s monthly activity has been raised to 77.68 million on the premise of using a third-party map before going out. Its domestic online car Hailing daily volume is as high as 24 million, ranking first in the online car Hailing service industry, far surpassing Baidu and Gaode in the same period.
Where is the map gun going?
In the future, all parties will continue to promote travel and local life services around LBS service in the development of map business, but will create their own characteristics.
At present, Gode takes “precision map” as its future development direction, and maps cannot do without data. It is reported that golde’s data pool is the most extensive among all map service providers. On the one hand, Gaode has its own data collected over the years, on the other hand, it is based on the data obtained from Ali ecosystem. At the same time, through cooperation with nearly 200 traffic management departments, Gaode can obtain the authoritative first-hand data of traffic management departments, so as to achieve real-time updating of map data.
In addition, Gaode map will still carry out the existing “aggregation taxi” mode and continue to make efforts to travel, because the fundamental advantage of Gaode as an aggregation platform is its own digital map business. The business model of the taxi platform is strongly related to its scene advantages. Liu Zhenfei has stressed that the aggregation platform created by Gaode will not compete with the cooperative online appointment platform, but only as a stream Quantity platform, reduce the conflict of fundamental interests of both sides, increase the timeliness of taxi. However, Didi didn’t join Golder’s aggregation taxi platform, which may indicate some problems.
At the same time, Gaode also said that it would further assist the traditional travel enterprises to realize the digital transformation and upgrading. At the 2020 China automobile consumption forum, goldmap announced that it had reached a deep cooperation with China Automobile Circulation Association to connect the information of the national automobile dealer outlets of the Gaode map certification system, so as to improve the digital operation ability of automobile dealers, so as to realize the b-end business development.
In foreign countries, Gaode cooperates with “here map” based on overseas map and dynamic information service, and takes sea going as a new choice for its development.
The development direction of Baidu map is different from that of Gaode. Baidu focuses on how to use AI technology to develop the potential of map, hoping to extend the personalized intelligent service.
Under the call of “digital new infrastructure”, baidu map is no longer just a map and navigation, but hopes to develop into a strategic infrastructure.
Baidu map recently released the “Baige plan”. Baidu map vision will lay out commercial real estate and offline retail industry, cooperate with relevant suppliers, provide auxiliary decision-making and realize commercial value. In other words, as long as it is related to the location-based services industry and industry, can be incorporated into Baidu map ecology.
In addition, baidu map has been incorporated into Baidu AI technology platform system, with the goal of becoming the core infrastructure provider in the AI era. This is also the integration of Baidu’s AI strategy since the “Ai map era” was opened in 2017.
In the short term, Didi map’s services to the public are still limited. It is more about providing basic services for its own business, especially didi travel, Qingju bicycle and automatic driving technology. As a prerequisite for the smooth development of these businesses map and navigation, Didi will also invest more resources to develop “accurate map” to realize the commercialization of self driving online car hailing and the accuracy of Didi’s travel.

In the process of continuous cross-border business expansion such as Baidu and Gaode, it is always difficult to cultivate the scene service of users. Google’s ideas may be useful. In June, Google launched a new advertising feature on maps, codenamed “promoted pins,” to attract users to businesses such as restaurants or gas stations near them. In addition, Google has also launched other new localized search functions, such as allowing advertisers to publish special products or local product inventory search boxes.
No longer expect users to actively explore services, but through the search of direct connection services, perhaps map service providers in the short term suitable for development ideas. Map provides scene services, which will have more opportunities when AR technology is further mature. At present, both Baidu and Huawei have ar service capabilities, but the technology is not mature.
It seems that the “map guns” of all parties are ready to launch, waiting for the moment of ignition and launching.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)