Didi Chuxing to launch in Taiwan ahead of global expansion

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has launched in Taiwan, marking its first ever venture outside of mainland China.

The company, which currently has 450mn users across mainland China, will now have a further 24mn population to break into, and follows Uber’s less-than-successful attempt when the US company entered Taiwan in 2013.

Both firms have had to change tactics due to Taiwanese regulations. A taxi lobby has prevented ride-hailing apps from tapping into ordinary people driving their own cars and as such local existing taxi drivers must be used.

 

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In fact, Uber had to pack up most of its service in 2017 and now offers only official limousine operators, proving what a tough market Taiwan can be.

Didi has therefore partnered with Taiwanese firm, LEDI technology, and will run its franchise using local taxi drivers. It will offer two Taiwan-specific services: Didi Taxi and Didi Hitch.

In a statement, Didi said: “Taiwanese taxi drivers will benefit from better operating efficiency, lower idle time, and higher income. Initially limited to cash payment, Didi Taxi will gradually bring in diversified third-party credit cards and mobile payment options. During the beta launch, Hitch riders and drivers can split fuel costs, tolls, and other expenses through cash payments with more convenient mobile payment option to follow in the near future”.

This is an opportunity for Didi to test the waters outside of mainland China, as it plans to launch in Latin America this year.

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