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China's Didi Chuxing takes aim at Japan's taxi market

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Chinese Chuxing announced a deal with firm today to develop a taxi app in Japan, where services like have struggled to make inroads.

and Chuxing announced a "partnership to provide platform services for the taxi industry" with trial runs expected to be launched in major Japanese cities "within the year".

The two firms are also in discussion about creating a joint venture, a told AFP, without offering more details.

Taxi-hailing apps have found it challenging to crack the Japanese market, where risk-averse passengers prefer to stick to their high-quality traditional taxi service.

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 via

Another barrier has been that the vast majority of taxis are hailed or hired from a cab rank, with a relatively small percentage of taxis connected to a

Chuxing said it would use its "advanced AI technologies... to enhance efficiency for both taxi operators and drivers."

The deal represents another step for the Chinese firm in its attempts to rival It bought a Brazilian app in January and has previously made acquisitions in and the

SoftBank is also heavily present in the taxi market and recently took at 15-percent stake in

The deal comes a day after carmaker announced an investment of 7.5 billion yen ($69 million) in the JapanTaxi app, which says it is the biggest taxi-hailing app in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 16:50 IST