Didi launches English ride-hailing service for foreigners

Didi Chuxing, the leading ride-hailing company in China, launched a bilingual version of its app in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on Monday, catering to foreigners with an English interface. 

The English version will also be available in other Chinese cities progressively, announced the Beijing-based company. 

Besides an English interface, other bilingual functions include a real-time, in-app text messaging translation function between English and Chinese to help passengers and drivers communicate. Users will also have access to bilingual customer service support via email and phone. 

"Internationalization of mobility services in China is a crucial link in Didi’s broader global strategy,” said the company, adding that over a million foreigners worked and lived in China, with over 28 million visiting as tourists in 2016. 

Didi will also accept payments via international credit cards, adding another payment option on top of WeChat Wallet and Alipay, which are popular among Chinese. 

In addition, users can register the ride-hailing app with phone numbers in 12 countries and regions including the Chinese mainland, China's Hong Kong and Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada, the United States, and Brazil. 

Last month, Didi announced it raised 5.5 billion US dollars in a new financing agreement. The funding round makes Didi the most valuable startup in Asia, with a value of more than 50 billion US dollars, an amount that also makes it number two in the world after Uber's 68-billion-US-dollar valuation, according to rankings by The Wall Street Journal. 

Didi announced that it acquired Uber's China unit in August last year. 

Didi Chuxing is the only company to have all of China's three Internet giants—Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu—as its investors.




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