Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Brightoil Targets Chinese Drivers With Gasoline-Hedging App

  • Customers can lock in fuel prices through mobile phone
  • Company to offer hedging service starting in December

Brightoil Petroleum Holdings Ltd. plans to launch an e-commerce platform to provide fuel buyers in China a way to lock in prices as the Hong Kong-based company seeks to tap the mainland’s booming consumer market.

The platform, called Brightoil Online, will allow customers to buy fuel on the Internet or through their mobile phones and possibly cash in a profit later if prices rise, Danny Tan, chief financial officer of Brightoil, said in an interview in Hong Kong.

“We are trying to be like Alibaba for the fuel sales business in China and allow all investors, big or small, to trade fuel through their mobile phones 24 hours a day,” Tan said. “We have long identified such a need among Chinese customers and we’ve managed to create a product that will make hedging fuel price as easy as buying anything else online.”

The number of automobiles on China’s roads may reach 428 million this year and the value of fuel consumed, including gasoline and diesel, could total 4 trillion yuan ($630 billion), according to Tan. Brightoil aims to get as much as 1 trillion yuan of that business on its platform in as little as three years, he said.

Brightoil and its related companies hold retail licenses in China and run storage, transportation and fueling stations in China’s southern Guangdong province. The online platform will allow Brightoil to reach customers across the country, Tan said. The company will begin offering the product in December.

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