Ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing and partner SoftBank have announced Didi Mobility Japan, a new taxi-hailing service that will start trials in Japan this year, and help push forward the introduction of such apps into the country.
Didi Mobility Japan trials will start in Osaka and are expected to then debut in Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Okinawa. While both companies will also partner with local taxi companies, no announcements have been made regarding which ones.
Ride-hailing among private car owners is illegal in Japan, but growing international tourism has sparked SoftBank and Didi’s latest attempt to make it easier for visitors to get a taxi. With Chinese tourists making up the largest group, the app will cater more to them. It will include Chinese translation, and the ability to use WeChat Pay or Alipay.
SoftBank and CEO Masayoshi Son are major investors in Didi, Uber, Grab, and other international ride-hailing apps.