DiDi launches roaming service in Victoria tailored to Chinese tourists

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

The ridesharing company said this could potentially create thousands of new customers per day for its driver-partners in Melbourne and Geelong. The company said this roaming service eliminates two traditional barriers for Chinese visitors in Australia: language and payment.

“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," said Dillon Ye, general manager of DiDi ANZ.

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.

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