China's Didi Chuxing takes aim at Japan's taxi market

China's Didi Chuxing takes aim at Japan's taxi market

Two of its investors - Didi and SoftBank - are teaming up to launch a rival service, while one of its existing competitors has just landed a big cash infusion and highly influential backer after Toyota backed JapanTaxi.

The partnership will use DiDi technology to raise the efficiency of taxi operators and drivers in Japan, according to the company.

Didi dominates the Chinese market - thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China - but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition and Taiwan via a franchise model, and also moved into bike-sharing and vehicle rentals.

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japanese technology giant SoftBank have announced a strategic partnership that will aim to provide platform services for the taxi industry in Japan, with trial services set to commence in cities including Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Tokyo before the end of the year.

Reuters provides more: "A person familiar with Didi's tie-up with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance said the partnership was about looking at the possibility of supplying all-electric battery auto models for Didi's new service".

Didi has expanded overseas rapidly in the past year since sealing its dominance in China with the purchase of Uber Technologies Inc´s local business in 2016, ending a cash-burning subsidy war that cost the USA firm roughly $2 billion.

In January Didi agreed to acquire control of Brazil's 99, in a deal sources said valued 99 at over $1 billion and gave Didi a "significant majority" stake in the Brazilian firm. Last month the Japanese firm became the largest shareholder in Uber.

The deal comes amid moves by global ride-hailing companies into Japan.

The focus is on taxi drivers and taxi operator firms because peer-to-peer ride services are not legal in Japan.

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