Business / Corporate

DeNA launches free cab-hailing service in Tokyo, for those who can stomach noodle ads

Kyodo

Mobile service provider DeNA Co. has launched a free taxi-hailing service touting “zero yen” rides in Tokyo’s 23 wards until the end of the year.

The body and inside of the 50 cabs involved will feature noodle ads from sponsor Nissin Foods Holdings Co., which will foot the bill for the rides provided through DeNA’s Mov app.

The journeys for this campaign will be limited to Tokyo’s 23 wards, and passengers will have to pay regular fares for journeys outside of them.

Passengers can use the service by specifying the location and selecting a taxi on a map shown on the app.

The app’s debut in Tokyo follows its launch in Kanagawa Prefecture, where a fleet of 9,500 taxis is available for use.

DeNA, which launched the service to try and seize a share of the increasingly crowded ride-hailing market, is looking to expand the service to Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo next spring.