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[Tested]: T3, the New Didi Alternative That Let’s You Ride Like a Diplomat

We’re riding in style with this new ride hailing APP. For now, at least.
2021-06-24 15:00:00
Photos: Brandon McGhee
"Tested" is our column where we check out goods and services that might be helpful. We see if they're worth your time and money so you don't have to.

I'm using Didi; you’re using Didi; we're all using Didi.

But hey check this out, there’s a new ride hailing APP called "T3" that you might want to have in your back pocket for when Didi gets bogged down and you find yourself like number 6 billion out of 6 billion and one in line.

Another pretty fantastic selling point: they deal exclusively in Hongqi rides, which is the luxury automobile brand of choice for Chinese diplomats and government officials as they zoom out all over this fine land, doing their good and noble works.

Hongqi’s look like this — basically a smaller-but-still-huge limo-ish sort of ride, replete with lux interiors and amenities, closely tailored to someone of your individual worth and status.

No one really knows about this T3 APP yet, which makes it (a) cheap and (b) fast. We've been using it for the past week or so, and have been getting lightning fast pick-ups and discounts aplenty on our fares. You want to get ahead of the curve on this one.

Read on to discover how YOU TOO can look like you’re on your way to pick up Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger from the Hongqiao airport in 1971.

How do I download T3 Chuxing?

Before you read on, we should say that, currently, the T3 APP platform is available in Chinese only. Although, we’ll also say that if you can handle using Didi in Chinese, you can handle this, as it’s basically the same thing.

Okay, let's get into it.

First, search "T3出行" in the App Store and download the one by "Nanjing Leading Technology".

Once you open up the app, the typical privacy policy information will pop up before leading you to an interface that resembles Didi.

What's different here is that they give you four types of car orders right off the bat:

现在, now;
预约, reservation;
接机, pick up from airport; and
送机, drop off at airport.

We went with ordering a car right now, the most common option.

For their roll-out, new users get six coupons where you can get 30 to 50 percent off your ride, valid for two weeks. There's a maximum of 50rmb that can be deducted.

From here on out, it’s what you'd expect. You just confirm your pick-up and drop-off location, and T3 will then estimate the cost, time of arrival, and all that jazz.

Tap confirm.

Yes, send me my diplomat car. Let’s do this. Let’s get this [Tested].

Let's riiiiiiide.

The only thing we needed to do before actually being able to call a car was confirm a phone number, which consisted of pressing a button for another privacy policy no one will read.

Two things to note here. Firstly, you can type your drop-off location in English and the correct address will likely pop up in Chinese (this is also usually the case with Didi and Meituan). Secondly, we got a car in quite literally two seconds. This was around 1pm.

The driver arrives in a few minutes. He greets us in a shirt and tie (nice), tells us how long the trip will take (seven minutes), and asks if the temperature was comfortable (it was).

Instead of a middle seat, there was a bottle of Evian and San Pellegrino. Ayyy!

Our ride to Jing’an Park takes eight minutes and costs a grand total of 30.16rmb, which reduces to 15.08rmb with T3’s discount for new users.

So, yeah. T3 doesn’t have an English-language option yet but the interface is pretty similar to Didi, Meituan, or whatever ride hailing service you use — the biggest difference of the whole experience is the car.

Which is nice and fancy and important. Just like you.

Who knows if T3 is a sustainable competitor to Didi, but for now, you can enjoy it for cheap.

Would T3 be worth using after your six coupons run out and you’re paying full price for a luxury ride? Guess you have to look inside yourself for that one.

You do you...

...Mr. President.