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Chinese ride-sharing service Didi launches business in Taiwan

The company is partnering with LEDI technology and established taxi organizations for the venture

(Image from the 滴滴台灣 DiDi Taiwan Facebook page)

(Image from the 滴滴台灣 DiDi Taiwan Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Chinese ride-hailing company Didi (滴滴出行), China’s answer to Uber, launched its business operation in Taiwan on Friday, Jan. 19.

The company has over 450 million users in China, and Taiwan marks the company’s first overseas venture. However, just as Uber discovered in the past, the taxi-drivers unions in Taiwan pose a serious obstacle to the ride-sharing service.

According to the report from TechinAsia, Didi is partnering with a Taiwanese company, LEDI Technology, to create an application platform in cooperation with the taxi groups and their drivers.

Uber also had to amend its original business model in Taiwan, after it was forced to halt operations in 2017. It now operates using a government certified force of limo drivers.

For now the Didi service application is still in its beta phase. Customers con opt for one of two services; Didi Taxi, or Didi Hitch.

Didi taxi works just like Uber, allowing users to make a digital request for their ride. Didi Hitch on the other hand, is a carpooling service that will reduce costs for those who don’t mind sharing a ride with strangers.

In a statement for the launch the company 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,” reports TechinAsia.

Recently, the of rivalry between Didi and Uber in China spilled out into the public, when Didi officially gave a rebuttal to refute the figures Uber offered about their market share in China.

Though the total market is much smaller in Taiwan, and Uber currently has the advantage, it remains to be seen how the competition will develop on the island in the coming years.