Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture between China’s largest ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp said that their taxi-hailing services have now been available in 12 major areas including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka for one year.
The service has achieved the majority of the taxi-hailing market share in the key cities of the Kansai region (which includes Kyoto and Osaka), as well as other areas, Didi claims in a press release. Ride-sharing which relies on drivers with their own cars is banned in Japan so that even Uber is also operating in the taxi-hailing business. Uber launched a taxi-hailing pilot on the island of Awaji (near Osaka) by teaming with 20 local taxi firms, reported Reuters in May 2018.
DiDi added that its Japanese app was also the most downloaded taxi-hailing app in Japan in August and September 2019.
Behind its popularity is Didi’s efforts to localize, which is showcased by its efforts in adding a function to its app interface, allowing drivers to fulfil the order picking process via voice interaction to replace manual efforts. Using a phone while driving is prohibited in Japan.
Didi, which has teamed up with over 300 taxi firms in Japan, also announced a plan to expand its taxi-hailing services to 20 cities in the country by the end of this year.
Didi told KrASIA on Wednesday that Japan is the world’s third largest taxi-hailing market by size and it hopes the country could become one of the most important overseas markets in its global expansion.
Didi’s services are now available in countries including Australia and Chile.