China-based global ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has launched Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

As ride-hailing is prohibited in Japan, Didi is focussing mainly on taxi operations. Its entrance into the local market will center on tech infrastructure support, which eyes technical and big data, and related driver and user experience optimization. A new ride-matching app for riders, drivers, and taxi operators will be available in major cities including Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Tokyo. Didi says services will be launched within the next few months.

The joint-venture, though launched between two private enterprises, implies an expectation of national economic gains. In 2017, Japan hosted roughly 29 million foreign visitors, around 50% of whom were from Greater China (in Chinese).

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Runhua Zhao

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com