Didi part­ners with SoftBank into Ja­pan mar­ket

Global Times - - Bizoverview -

China’s Didi Chux­ing and SoftBank Group Corp will roll out a ven­ture in Ja­pan later this year to pro­vide ride-hail­ing ser­vices. The move into Ja­pan un­der­scores a re­cent push by Didi to ex­pand in mar­kets out­side China, although it will face chal­lenges in Ja­pan, where ex­ist­ing taxi com­pa­nies are lob­by­ing hard against dereg­u­la­tion.

In Ja­pan, ride-hail­ing com­pa­nies face strict rules that ef­fec­tively bar non-pro­fes­sional driv­ers from of­fer­ing taxi ser­vices on safety grounds, and they are lim­ited to ser­vices that match users to ex­ist­ing taxi fleets via mo­bile plat­forms.

The two com­pa­nies said in a state­ment they aim to con­duct a trial of match­ing ser­vices in Ja­pan this year. SoftBank is an in­vestor in Didi, which raised $4 bil­lion to fund its global push in De­cem­ber at a val­u­a­tion of more than $50 bil­lion.

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