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

Stock MarketsApr 24, 2019 12:09AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logos of Didi Chuxing and SoftBank are pictured during a news conference about their Japanese taxi-hailing joint venture in Tokyo

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) - Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture (JV) by China's Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp, said it would expand its taxi-hailing service to 13 cities across Japan.

The app was first rolled out in September in Osaka, a popular destination for Chinese tourists, where it has tied up with 40 taxi firms in an increasingly crowded market for such apps that includes rivals backed by Sony Corp (T:6758) and Toyota Motor Corp.

It is expanding into Tokyo and Kyoto from Wednesday, with a further 10 locations to follow in the current financial year.

Despite SoftBank's oversized presence in the global ride-hailing industry, such services are effectively banned in Japan, leaving SoftBank portfolio companies like Didi and Uber (NYSE:UBER) limited to offering services that match taxis with customers.

Didi is among a growing number of SoftBank Group Corp-backed companies launching JVs with SoftBank's domestic telco. Other startups doing so are shared co-working firm WeWork Cos and Indian hotel startup OYO.

As part of SoftBank's efforts to drive synergies between its portfolio companies users will be able to access the taxi-hailing service through Yahoo (NASDAQ:AABA) Japan's route-finding app and pay via PayPay, an app that uses tech from India's Paytm.

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

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