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China’s mobile App helps solve Japan’s taxi difficulty

China’s mobile App helps solve Japan’s taxi difficulty

TOKYO, Oct. 9 (Xinhua): The Japan branch of DiDi Chuxing, a Chinese mobile transportation platform, has been operating well since its launch in Osaka a year ago, and the company is committed to solving Japan’s taxi-hailing problems through its mobile App, DiDi Japan’s Vice President Lin Li has said. In February 2018, the company and SoftBank announced plans to set up a joint venture to enter the Japanese taxi market. DiDi Japan was formally established in June 2018 and officially opened in Osaka three months later. “Currently, DiDi Japan has the largest market share in Osaka. Of all ride-hailing Apps, DiDi Japan also has the highest user satisfaction in Osaka,” Lin said in a recent interview with Xinhua in Tokyo. After opening in Osaka, the company gradually expanded into Kyoto, Tokyo, Hyogo, Hokkaido, Nagoya and other places, covering nearly 50 million users in Japan. As of September 2019, DiDi has established cooperation with more than 200 taxi companies in Japan. In addition to introducing digital scheduling technology for taxi companies, DiDi Japan is also trying to understand and meet the habits and needs of Japanese users, and has accumulated cross-border cooperation resources, Lin said. The company has also partnered with Google maps and Yahoo Japan to allow local users to hail a car directly from the Apps. “These are all customized products from DiDi Japan,” Lin said. The company serves both local users and Chinese tourists visiting Japan, Lin said. Chinese tourists can use the domestic version of DiDi’s App to call a taxi in Japan, as it offers real-time translation between Chinese and Japanese, as well as Chinese customer service and payment functions of Alipay and WeChat. Referring to his experience of doing business in Japan, Lin said that in the face of a different regulatory environment, demographic structure and industrial ecology, full understanding of local conditions and industry characteristics are the foundation. “Trying to quickly operate in Japan with the mature experience and technology from China while really identifying the areas that need to be culturally differentiated requires an open mind for learning,” Lin said. The Japanese market is distinctly characterized by an aging population, not only in taxi practitioners but also in consumers, Lin said. “That’s where DiDi’s products and technology come into play.” Lin said he believes DiDi’s advanced big data-driven operations are stimulating new productivity in Japan’s aging taxi industry, which also has high labor costs. In addition to Japan, the company also offers ride-hailing services in markets such as Australia and Latin America. DiDi is also cooperating with countries such as Brazil and Mexico to promote China’s smart transportation technology to more markets. Lin said that in the past few years, the wave of mobile Internet greatly boosted the development of China which has already led the world in some fields. As a Chinese technology company, DiDi has a strong sense of mission and is dedicated to bringing Chinese brands, technology and services to more places, he said. China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, was expected to remain stable in September, Securities Daily reported Wednesday. Analysts from 10 institutions predicted the September CPI would rise 2.8 percent year on year, the same as in August. Although pork prices continued the upward trend last month, other types of food saw slower growth, said Hua Changchun, the chief economist with Guotai Junan Securities. Vegetable prices saw a year-on-year decrease of 9.3 percent in September, while fruit prices rose 11.1 percent, down 17 percentage points from the same period last year, Hua said. The effect brought by higher pork prices to CPI would be offset by vegetable and fruit prices, according to Wang Qing, the chief analyst with Golden Credit Rating International. China aims to keep consumer inflation at around 3 percent in 2019, according to this year’s government work report. The 10 institutions also predicted that the producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, would drop 1.24 percent year on year in September.

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