In a long-awaited change for all of China’s lost laowai, Didi Chuxing, the country’s leading ride-hailing service, has announced that it is finally rolling out its English-language interface.
The rollout begins today for users in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and will gradually become available in other cities nationwide as the company looks to internationalize by first connecting with the millions of international tourists coming to China each year.
This is welcome news for all non-Chinese speakers living or traveling in the country. After gobbling up Uber China last year, Didi quickly did away with Uber’s English app, causing problems for expats or tourists trying to get around Chinese cities without any language skills.
But those concerns will soon be a thing of the past. Didi promises that among its new bilingual features is a real-time, in-app messaging translation service allowing users to effectively communicate with their drivers even if they don’t speak the language.
In another effort to cater to the international crowd, Didi has also announced that users will be able to register for its services with a Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada, United States or Brazil phone number. Previously, you had to have a Chinese mobile number to register for an account.
And, to top it all off, Didi has announced that it will now be accepting “major international credit cards,” not just WeChat Wallet or Alipay. Hooray!
[Images via Shanghai Daily]
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