(Yicai Global) Feb. 9 -- The world's largest ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing Technology Co. has founded a joint venture with Japanese telecoms firm SoftBank Group Corp. to find ground in the archipelago's public transport sector.
The new firm will trial ride-hailing in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, among other regions, tech news outlet Ifeng reported. The pair believe that by using Deep Learning and Softbank's local expertise to forecast demand and run an intelligent dispatch system, they can make Japanese ride-hailing firms more efficient.
Online ride-hailing has not proved as fruitful in Japan as it has in China. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism halted Uber Inc.'s ride-sharing service in the country on the grounds that it violates the Road Transportation Act. Local laws surrounding the taxi market are particularly strict, limiting market access and setting high standards for driver qualifications. Uber's only service in the country is a taxi-hailing operation in Tokyo.
The two companies are studying local market conditions and the policy environment and will communicate with taxi firms, regulators and other stakeholders to prepare for the expansion. They will also set up an open platform for Japanese taxi operators to seek out partners.