February 6, 2020: A Chinese technology company, Timesaco, plans to invest more than $600 million in Pakistan’s ailing public transportation sector, hoping to restructure and digitize it by imitating the Chinese model.
“Our company is trying to restore and restructure Pakistan’s public transportation system by replicating the Chinese model that will enable the relevant authorities to track the movement of vehicles and ensure their punctuality,” Media Manager of Timesaco Asad Ullah said.
“The company intends to invest $600 million and this amount will increase with the scope of the business,” he added.
After launching “Tatu Mobility,” a transportation infrastructure network to promote the e-transportation sector business, in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Timesaco is now set to move to the country’s southern port city of Karachi.
“In the second week of February, we will go to Karachi to meet with officials of Sindh government, including the chief minister,” he said in an interview with Arab News on Thursday. “We are planning to launch the service in the third or fourth week of February 2020 in Karachi.”
The company provides wide-ranging mobility services, such as taxi-hailing facility, pick and drop, bus booking, vehicle rental, and other related technological solutions.
Tatu Mobility will provide an IoT (Internet of Things) based transportation network in which all existing private and public transportation networks will be restored, restructured and modified into IoT technology, he continued.
Currently, Timesaco is perusing two modes of investment: Under the first one, the company will invest itself while, under the second, it will persuade other companies to invest in the country’s transportation sector.
The company also plans to streamline the existing yellow cabs and traditional taxi services in Pakistan which were largely affected by the launch of ride-hailing services.
“Negotiations with big Chinese companies have already been held, and many big players have agreed to invest in Pakistan. A plan is being considered where people will get yellow cabs and traditional taxi services with the involvement of government and banks,” Asad Ullah noted.
On the materialization of the plan, the traditional cab services will be digitized and brought on par with online services that will enable them to double their revenue.
“Vehicles will be imported from China for this purpose initially. It will also create an opportunity for the Chinese auto manufacturers to enter the Pakistani market which will offer people more choice,” he said.
Asad Ullah maintained that the Chinese companies had been informed about the existing opportunities and were likely to come to Pakistan if they saw the potential to get enough return on investment.
“In the longer run, they may get convinced to start manufacturing in Pakistan. Our aim is also to bring such players into the Pakistani market,” he said.