Shortly after they raised $500 million through strategic investment via the travel booking site Booking Holdings, Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company, is continuing to push internationally by launching in Japan.
Its new Japan-based unit is a joint venture with SoftBank, a longtime Didi investor, which has been in the works since an announcement back in February. Today’s news isn’t that the service is live yet — it isn’t — but rather that the JV has been formally launched.
Didi did say, however, that it plans to launch services for passengers, drivers and taxi operators in Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Tokyo and other major cities from autumn this year. Didi said that its users in China and Hong Kong will be able to use the soon-to-launch Japan service through their regular Didi app — that’s interesting since a ‘roaming’ strategy involving Lyft and others arranged years ago never came to fruition.
And yes, you did read correctly that taxi operators are part of the target audience. That’s because Japan doesn’t allow unlicensed private cars to operate as taxis.
Read more here
Join us in Madrid from the 13th to the 16th of November for the Property Portal Watch Conference.