Didi to go bilingual in China

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing will add an option for English language interface in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou for its app, with plans to expand the option throughout China.

Announced yesterday, users in the three cities will have access to the bilingual functions upon installing and upgrading to the latest version of the Didi app. A real-time text messaging translation function in the app will allow passengers and drivers to communicate even if the passenger cannot write or speak Mandarin. Users will also have access to bilingual customer service support over both phone and email.

The new function aims to serve foreigners, but it is also part of the company's globalisation strategy, Didi said in a statement, pointing out that over 28 million international tourists visited China in 2016, up 8.3% year-on-year, and over 900,000 foreign citizens working in China.

To better serve China's growing international community, the Didi app now supports payment via major international credit cards. Users can sign up with mobile numbers registered in 12 countries and regions, including the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.