Sony Corp. to launch an AI-based taxi-hailing service in Japan

 Sony Corporation said today that it will build an AI-based ride-hailing system in Japan in partnership with five taxi companies. The service will use artificial intelligence to manage taxi dispatches and forecast demand based on factors like weather, traffic and local events. Sony’s announcement came just before Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi, who is currently visiting… Read More

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

 Uber’s tangled relationship with investors Didi and SoftBank is about to get more complicated after the duo inked an agreement to introduce taxi-hailing services that will compete directly with Uber in Japan. Didi dominates the Chinese market — thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China — but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition… Read More

Uber’s big SoftBank deal has officially closed

 SoftBank’s $1.2 billion primary direct investment deal has officially closed, according to Uber itself, which confirmed the deal closure and provided the following statement to TechCrunch via a spokesperson:
We’re proud to have SoftBank, Dragoneer and the entire consortium in the Uber family. This is a great outcome for our shareholders, employees and customers, strengthening… Read More

China’s Didi Chuxing raises $4B more for AI, international expansion and electric vehicles

 China’s Didi Chuxing, the country’s top ride-hailing company, said today that it has raised $4 billion in new capital to support a range of new initiatives including international expansion.
The company has already raised $13 billion from investors that include Alibaba, Tencent and Apple, and it said that this newest round will go towards developing its artificial intelligence… Read More

Qualcomm announces investment in Mobike and eight other Chinese startups

 Qualcomm is continuing its charm offensive in China, a critical market where it has suffered hard blows in recent years including a $1 billion anti-trust fine, after it announced a flurry of new investments.
These are chaotic times for Qualcomm, which is fielding unwanted acquisition interest from Broadcom and battling Apple in court, but today it put the focus back on supporting upcoming… Read More

Uber rival Grab crosses 1 billion rides in Southeast Asia

 Grab, Uber’s fierce rival in Southeast Asia, announced today that its service has crossed one billion completed rides. The firm hit the milestone on October 26 when 66 concurrent trips from across its seven markets took it into ten-figure territory . The company started out in Malaysia in 2012, and today it covers 142 cities across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam,… Read More

Didi Chuxing will build its own electric vehicle charging network

 Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-sharing company, will form a joint venture to build its own charging network for electric cars. In an announcement today, Didi Chuxing co-founder and chief executive officer Cheng Wei said that the infrastructure will serve “families and the public” as well as vehicles on the company’s platform. Read More

Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia, is now officially also a digital payments company

 Grab is best known for rivaling Uber in Southeast Asia, but today the company took a major step into becoming a fintech player, too.
That’s because the ride-sharing firm, which recently raised $2 billion from SoftBank and China’s Didi Chuxing, rolled out support for its GrabPay service among third-party merchants for the first time today.
Grab is present in seven markets across… Read More