Briefing: Didi-Softbank JV expands in Japan to 13 cities including Tokyo, Kyoto

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Didi-SoftBank taxi-hailing JV expands to 13 cities across Japan – Reuters

What happened: Didi-Softbank joint venture Didi Mobility Japan has launched its taxi-hailing services in Tokyo and Kyoto and will expand to 13 cities across Japan. The service initially landed in Osaka last year, targeting Chinese tourists and residents alike. The company joined forces with taxi firms as it sought to take on rivals backed by Sony and Toyota.

Why it’s important: Didi has been pushing to increase its presence internationally as it faces regulatory difficulties and driver shortages at home. The company this year plans to focus on internationalization and aims to take on rivals like Uber in international markets. Didi this week began recruiting drivers in Colombia as it pushes ahead with its Latin American expansion plans. However, the situation is different in Japan, where the company cannot offer ride-hailing services, as they are effectively banned. Instead, Didi has partnered with taxi operators.