First comes China, then ... Japan?
While smaller than it's giant neighbor to the West, Japan is becoming the next frontier in the increasingly global fight between Uber, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and others to dominate the fast-growing ride-hailing business.
While Japan's market is much smaller than India's or China's — 127.3 million potential consumers versus the 1.3 billion in China — the need for transportation alternatives and demographic realities presents a big opportunity.
Today, residents of Tokyo have buses, subways and taxis as transportation options. The subway lines are competing, privately owned companies often forcing commuters to switch lines halfway through their ride.
Taxis can be prohibitively expensive, leading many potential riders to rent hotel capsules for the night rather than travel across town. This leaves a gap between limited but affordable public transportation, and costly private car or taxi transport.
Enter e-hailed car rides.