DiDi users will soon be able to hail taxis in Japan. Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”), a leading China-based mobile transportation platform, launched DiDi Mobility Japan Corp. (“DiDi Japan”), a joint-venture with SoftBank on July 19th.
The cooperation will combine DiDi’s technology with the business base of SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications magnate, and offer on-demand taxi-hailing services for citizens and tourists in Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Tokyo and other major cities starting from autumn this year.
Current DiDi users can use DiDi Greater China app to hail taxis in their native languages in Japan, and pay the fee via WeChat as well as Alipay. DiDi Japan will also allow roaming service and accept various payment methods that are convenient for people from different countries.
Meanwhile, new features will be added to the app, including real-time Chinese-Japanese instant message translation and local Chinese language customer support.
“We believes AI-based innovation may contribute to new growth of taxi industry and the public transportation sectors,” said Jean Liu, President of Didi, “and we look forward to collaboration with all industries to assist in smart city initiatives in Japan and Asia,”
DiDi Japan’s Driver App
In fact, Japan holds great potential as a market for online taxi-hailing as it’s the world’s third biggest taxi market bracing rapid economic expansion and tourism growth.
According to Japan National Tourism Organization, in-bound travelers grew by 28% annually, and the number of Greater China visitors by 34% per year between 2012 and 2017. Especially, DiDi Japan unveiled their aims to support the Japanese taxi industry to capture these new opportunities in anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
DiDi Japan’s DiDi Fleet Management Platform
Apart from online hailing services, DiDi Japan will also provide smart transportation solutions.
“We saw earnest demand in Japan for more convenient urban and regional transportation services, especially in light of the growing population of senior citizens,” said Stephen Zhu, VP of Didi and CEO of DiDi Japan, “the new platform will help taxi companies to improve efficiency and utilization, enhance user satisfaction and build more broad-based demand for taxi services.”