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DiDi, SoftBank to provide platform services for Japan taxi industry
11 February 2018, 01:33 | Austin Hogan
China's Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan
Taxi services in Japan are known for high standards of quality, but both partners believe that they can help further optimise services and increase passenger convenience.
SoftBank is an existing investor in Didi, which raised $4 billion to fund its global push in December at a valuation of more than $50 billion.
"Strategic partnerships with the world's leading industry players like Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi will enable us to pool our strengths and resources to meet diversified mobility demands and create an open, sharing-based transportation ecosystem, as we innovate vehicles for a future of ridesharing, AI technology and new energy", Chen Ting, general manager for the express mobility group of DiDi Chuxing, said in a statement. The company continues to apply its big data capabilities to increase taxi drivers' work efficiency and income.
DiDi reports that its online platform for taxi-hailing now includes 2 million taxi drivers connected to the ap. In January Didi agreed to acquire control of Brazil´s 99, in a deal sources said valued 99 at over $1 billion and gave Didi a ´significant majority´ stake in the Brazilian firm. Didi is, however, facing rising challenges at home, including a slower pace of growth, new rivals entering the market and drivers complaining that reduced subsidies mean they are working longer hours for the less pay. Currently DiDi has established partnerships with about 500 taxi operators in China.
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Tech-based disruptors like Didi and Uber Technologies Inc, as well as traditional carmakers, are all looking to get ahead in the ride-hailing market, amid a global shift in the auto industry towards car sharing, autonomous driving and electric vehicles. The first generation of large-scale, new energy car-sharing platforms are expected to materialize in core emerging countries such as China.
At least 12 automakers are set to be involved in the project, Didi said, which will allow members of its service to rent electric vehicles (EVs) on demand via an app.
From its founding as a taxi-hailing business, DiDi has been building up a world-leading one-stop transportation platform since 2012.
DiDi believes the new program will reduce cost and enhance efficiency for the entire industry chain by integrating resources from cars, capital, parking spaces, charging points and refueling stations, to auto-maintenance and fix services in a new, open ecosystem of collaboration.
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