Didi Dache announced on May 8 that they will release English version of their Taxi Hailing App for the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Tianjin version has been released last week with no special announcement.
If you already have Didi installed in English you will see this prompt screen asking you to switch to new language.
If you don’t see the prompt you may have to update your version of Didi to the last one: 5.0.20. version
If you don’t have Didi at all then: go into your app store and copy/paste these words “滴滴出行”.
If you have the last version and it is still in Chinese then go to: your profile (the little guy left top) -> 设置 -> 多语音 -> select English -> click on 完成 (top right)
What has changed in the English version:
-Street names and the whole map is in Pinyin or English. That may be a little tricky at the beginning. Be sure to select easy address for the driver to get a proper translation, the best is to choose 2 road crossing.
Road cross are using this syntax: First road Yu second road Cha Kou
-You can enter your pick-up/drop-off destinations in English in the fields, but it may be difficult for Didi to understand it. Copy paste Chinese is working perfectly and will offer you the English name. i.e. pasting 国际大厦 will give you International Building Nanjing Road; “Pizza Bianca” will offer you the 3 pizza Bianca stores location to choose from….
So experiment and if you can’t find an exact location, try a nearly easy pick-up (road cross) and an easy drop off (you can still tell the driver to continue 300 meters on the right…..)
-You only can select, express car (private car), taxi, or premier car (luxury private car). Ofo bicycle and buses ride are not offer into that version.
-For pick-ups, the interface has been translated; it shows the name of the driver, the car’s number and color, and options like canceling your trip. And you can communicate with your driver through a translation software by clicking on the message icon:
-You can now select your payment options all in English, including international Visa card, but we still advise you to make a bank account at ICBC bank when you arrive in China. And register a wechat and alipay account with it
At tianjinexpats.com we really are enjoying the new Didi English interface, it will be a new life changer for foreigners in Tianjin who are not so comfortable with Chinese addresses... but...
Didi won't translate your driver, so get ready for:
-Driver calling you to ask you where you are…. even if you have already entered pick-up location, just to be sure…. Best answer is: I’m waiting for you at the location pinned on the map: qing an dao hang de wei zhi lai jie wo
-That may be followed by him asking you road instructions in order to pick you up Best answer is: Please use your GPS: qing an dao hang lai jie wo
-Driver calling you to inform you that is too complicated for him and they prefer to cancel the ride and ask you to cancel. That one is tricky: if they cancel they will get a bad record or a fine, same for you. If they don’t want to pick you up, just let them cancel and don’t pick their phone call anymore
Good luck in your future explorations of Tianjin, with Didi in English and your lifestyle partner in Tianjin: http://www.tianjinexpats.com