Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Car Rental Programs and Ride Services > Ride Services, including Uber and Lyft
Reload this Page >

Using didi (滴滴出行) without a Chinese credit/debit card

Using didi (滴滴出行) without a Chinese credit/debit card

Old Nov 16, 16, 11:26 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Using didi (滴滴出行) without a Chinese credit/debit card

As those of you who frequent China probably know, Uber (China operations recently absorbed by didi) is currently undergoing a facelift, and is exceedingly foreigner unfriendly for the time being.

But, didi itself is a little easier, and has more cars.

Here's a brief walkthrough on how to make it work.

1. If you aren't already on Wechat, download/install/register it

2. Download/install/register 滴滴出行
-this is a little tricky because Google Play doesn't have it, and iPhone users must temporarily switch to the China iTunes in order to download
-but, anyone with sufficient desire can figure out how to get it (e.g. it's on wandoujia, an admittedly annoying app store that I recommend deleting as soon as you get your desired apps from it)

3. Assuming you sign up for Wechat outside of China, odds are you won't have Wechat wallet by default

4. You can add it by simply asking someone to send you money, and adding a credit card in order to authenticate yourself

5. Link Wechat to didi as your preferred payment option

Notes:
-didi's app is quite a bit more complex than uber's, and there is no English option, but it works fine once you get the hang of it
-I don't think you can use foreign cards to support didi payment (I.e. other people will need to help you keep a usable balance in Wechat wallet... or, you can always link a Chinese bank account)

The above might seem like a pita, but the hoops may well be worth jumping through if your China travels are likely to include challenging taxi situations.

All are welcome to ask questions here, or better yet, inside our FT Wechat group (faster responses, and easier to post screen shots).
moondog is online now  
Old Nov 17, 16, 12:03 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: BOS/PVD, LIM, PTY
Programs: US CP, DL PM, UA Silver, HU/TJ Air Gold, Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat (Yay!)
Posts: 2,694
You forgot to mention that many Chinese Uber drivers call the pax immediately to confirm the location.

They may end up cancelling frequently if the passenger can't speak Chinese or the driver can't speak English.
benzemalyonnais is offline  
Old Dec 1, 16, 1:00 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 11,172
Looks like WeChat Wallet is not officially available to accounts registered outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and South Africa.

http://help.wechat.com/cgi-bin/micro...nel=helpcenter
TerryK is offline  
Old Dec 1, 16, 8:54 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Looks like WeChat Wallet is not officially available to accounts registered outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and South Africa.

http://help.wechat.com/cgi-bin/micro...nel=helpcenter
Hmmmm. Well, I have wallet up and running on a Wechat account I created about a month ago using a US number, and it works. I'm guessing deviations from official policy are due to the fact that tencent doesn't test international products/features very well (e.g. witness QQ international).
moondog is online now  
Old Dec 14, 16, 1:14 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: AA MM, AS MVP, MR Plat
Posts: 780
Wallet won't show up automatically. My account is registered to a US # and I had to get someone to send me a red envelope (1 kuai will do). However, I couldn't add my USA Citi Visa, and I seem to have read somewhere that Wechat doesn't accept US credit cards.

This is also a problem if you want to book a Spring air ticket. They seem to only take Wechat payments.
eethan is offline  
Old Dec 14, 16, 1:41 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by eethan View Post
Wallet won't show up automatically. My account is registered to a US # and I had to get someone to send me a red envelope (1 kuai will do). However, I couldn't add my USA Citi Visa, and I seem to have read somewhere that Wechat doesn't accept US credit cards.

This is also a problem if you want to book a Spring air ticket. They seem to only take Wechat payments.
1. If you have a PRC bank account, link it to Wechat

2. If you don't, ask a Chinese person to juice your wallet when needed

3. Off topic, I realize, but 9C definitely accepts foreign plastic. However, they don't accept Wechat payments that aren't backed by local money
moondog is online now  
Old Dec 26, 16, 3:03 pm
  #7  
MMU
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
Hi, can someone confirm that the Lyft app works in China?

I am unable to top-up WeChat balance using a US credit card and don't have a Chinese bank account.
If Lyft works, then I am good to go as far as payment goes. Thanks!

BTW, I just tried the DiDiChuXing app in the US. it works. They utilize Lyft. The price is the same as using Lyft.
MMU is offline  
Old Dec 26, 16, 4:42 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by MMU View Post
Hi, can someone confirm that the Lyft app works in China?
No. The Lyft app can't be used to book cars in China.
moondog is online now  
Old Dec 26, 16, 4:59 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 11,172
Originally Posted by MMU View Post
....BTW, I just tried the DiDiChuXing app in the US. it works. They utilize Lyft. The price is the same as using Lyft.
Lyft and Didi has a one way partnership. Didi users can use Lyft service in USA but Lyft users cannnot use Didi in China.
TerryK is offline  
Old Dec 26, 16, 6:05 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Lyft and Didi has a one way partnership. Didi users can use Lyft service in USA but Lyft users cannnot use Didi in China.
It was originally intended to be a two way partnership, but the didi uber China deal fundamentally changed the equation.
moondog is online now  
Old Dec 27, 16, 8:14 am
  #11  
MMU
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
Thanks for the info OP!

Without a chinese credit/debit card, how do you top-up WeChat wallet balance? Get your friends to send you money in exchange for cash?
MMU is offline  
Old Dec 27, 16, 8:30 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by MMU View Post
Thanks for the info OP!

Without a chinese credit/debit card, how do you top-up WeChat wallet balance? Get your friends to send you money in exchange for cash?
Yes. Paying for group dinners and getting reimbursed in Wechat also works pretty well.
moondog is online now  
Old Dec 27, 16, 9:21 am
  #13  
MMU
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
That's a good way of topping up with a foreign credit card if the restaurants accept it thanks!
MMU is offline  
Old Jan 16, 17, 11:38 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: HHon Diamond, IHG Plat, SPG Gold, TG Gold, QR Plat, OZ Gold, AF Silver, Hertz #1 Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 440
How do you activate the app without a Chinese phone number?
EzzerBKK is offline  
Old Jan 17, 17, 12:13 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 30,167
Originally Posted by EzzerBKK View Post
How do you activate the app without a Chinese phone number?
Any phone number will suffice. In fact, I often create test accounts using Google phone numbers
moondog is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread