China’s answer to Uber, DiDi has launched a roaming service in Australia allowing for its Greater China App users to use the Express app when travelling in Australia.

The ridesharing company said this could potentially create thousands of new rideshare customers per day for its driver-partners in Melbourne and Geelong.

The service unlocks a new audience for DiDi, following its launch in Melbourne in June.

Chinese visitors who have the latest DiDi Greater China App installed on their phone will be able to book a DiDi Express when they arrive in Melbourne, without needing to download DiDi’s Global App.

The company said this roaming service eliminates two traditional barriers for Chinese visitors in Australia: language and payment.

Dillon Ye, general manager, DiDi ANZ, “We are excited to see the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia at an all-time high and growing. The roaming service embedded into our native app will allow Chinese visitors to explore Australia in the way they are used to at home.

“At DiDi, we are dedicated to providing more income opportunities to our driver partners, and we expect to generate thousands of additional DiDi rides across Melbourne and Geelong each day.”

Riders will be able to use their in-app online payment method, while a bilingual auto-translated in-app message system allows riders and driver-partners to communicate.

DiDi noted this feature has served about 1.5 million English-speaking users in the Chinese mainland over the past year. DiDi also offers online bilingual customer service to support roaming users. The riders can use this roaming service with their mobile data or under WiFi coverage when the trip is booked.

The company offers multi ridesharing services to 550 million riders across over 400 cities in Greater China.

Tourism Research Australia expects 1.6 million Chinese visitors will arrive in Australia in 2018- 2019, DiDi anticipates that the overwhelming majority of these visitors will be existing users.

 

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