Briefing: Toyota reportedly to invest in Didi, eyes China’s mobility market

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Toyota mulls $548m investment in Chinese ride-hailer Didi Chuxing – Nikkei Asian Review

What happened: Toyota Motor Corp is planning to invest about 60 billion yen (around $548 million) in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, hoping to gain a foothold in the world’s largest auto market. It is also reportedly considering setting up a new joint company with Didi offering mobility services in China. A Toyota spokesman told Reuters that the company continues to evaluate its global business strategies in sharing mobility, electric vehicles, and connected driverless technologies, but has “nothing to announce at this time.”

Why is important: Toyota has made large deals with some other ride-hailing firms in hopes of becoming a “mobility company” rather than just a traditional auto manufacturer. The Japanese automaker struck a $500 million investment deal with Uber in August to work jointly on autonomous vehicles, which will be deployed in the US company’s ride-hailing network. It also invested $1 billion in Grab, the largest ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia last year, in an attempt to co-expand the range of services from ride-hailing to new areas such as food delivery and mobile payment. Didi has worked with Toyota as one of its partners to test e-Palette, a self-driving concept vehicle for on-demand delivery since January last year , alongside Uber, Amazon, and Pizza Hut.