Didi Chuxing and SoftBank to roll out taxi enterprise in Japan

New Mobility Investments

New Mobility Investments

Both partners believe DiDi's deep learning-based demand prediction and smart dispatch systems, combined with SoftBank's local resources and expertise, will help Japan's taxi operators further optimize taxi ride-hailing services and increase passenger convenience.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DiDi Chuxing to explore future business cooperation on a new electric vehicle car-sharing program in China.

DiDi and SoftBank will diligently study local market conditions and policies, and will actively engage with industry practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders, with the aim of building an open and inclusive platform that will be available to all of Japan's taxi operators.

Right now, Didi and SoftBank say they are exploring opportunities.

SoftBank said separately Friday that it will develop a ride-hailing app for taxi firms with China's leading taxi- and ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.

The two firms aim to establish the joint venture and begin trial services in Japan this year.

Hailing a taxi rarely takes more than a few seconds in major Japanese cities and there has been a relatively sluggish uptake of services like Uber, where consumers order an unlicensed auto via smartphone.

SoftBank, led by CEO Masayoshi Son, has a stake in the Chinese company and hopes to strengthen ties through the taxi-hailing venture.

The link between Uber and Didi brings another wrinkle to the complicated relationship between ride-sharing firms and their investors.

Didi has expanded overseas rapidly in the past year since sealing its dominance in China with the purchase of Uber Technologies Inc´s local business in 2016, ending a cash-burning subsidy war that cost the USA firm roughly $2 billion.

Complications and conflicts are nothing new. Now, however, those relationships are moving into new levels of complication when SoftBank directly backs a new competitor in a market served by Uber.

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