China’s Biggest Taxi App Offers Substitute Drivers

Didi Kuaidi, China’s biggest taxi-booking operator, will start offering substitute chauffeurs to drive motorists home, expanding the number of services it hosts on its smartphone booking application.

The company formed earlier this year out of a merger between two competing apps will hold a briefing Tuesday in Beijing to give details on the business, according to an e-mailed invite. Didi Kuaidi didn’t provide more details.

Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., the company that owns the Didi and Kuaidi applications, is expanding its reach after raising $2 billion from investors earlier this month. It began express bus routes in Beijing this month and also runs vehicle-for-hire and car-pooling services, competing with Uber Technologies Inc.

The business of providing substitute drivers became popular after China started to hand out prison sentences for drunk drivers in 2011. Many high-end restaurants or nightclubs offer drivers to take inebriated patrons home.