DiDi, SoftBank to provide platform services for Japan taxi industry

China's Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan

Nothing seems to be going in favor of Uber, which appears to be struggling in every area of its major market.

The deal comes a day after carmaker Toyota announced an investment of 7.5 billion yen ($69 million) in the JapanTaxi app, which says it is the biggest taxi-hailing app in Japan. Toyota will acquire the freshly issued shares in JapanTaxi through a private placement this month. Powered by artificial intelligence, the system will analyze data to find peak-demand times and locations, helping to make ride-hailing more efficient.

As consumers shift away from vehicle ownership, Toyota has partnered with Uber and Singapore's Grab in search of new transportation services. To complicate matters further, Uber itself owns a 20 percent stake in Didi Chuxing it obtained when it sold off its Chinese division to the company in 2016.

Toyota's President Akio Toyoda has big plans for the company and its role in the future of transportation.

In short, Toyoda is aiming to redefine the veteran auto manufacturer as a mobility services provider.

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This week isn't turning out to be great one for Uber in Japan.

Taxi services in Japan are known for high standards of quality.

China's Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group will roll out a venture in Japan later this year to provide ride-hailing services, amid a global battle to control the technology increasingly central to urban transport. SoftBank is an existing investor in Didi, which raised US$4 billion to fund its global push in December at a valuation of more than US$50 billion.

Prior to starting the service, both the companies will go through the local market conditions and policies, along with gaining insight into the market by engaging with the industry practitioners, stakeholders and policymakers. With Didi and SoftBank set to offer yet another competitor, it is no surprise that Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made Japan the first stop of his inaugural trip to Asia as head of the ride-sharing firm.

The two firms said in a statement they aim to trial matching services in Japan this year. Softbank is already an investor in Didi.

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