Toyota Motor has launched a car rental business for tourists in China as the local market grows due to wider use of mobile payment services.
Toyota Financial Services, a Nagoya-based subsidiary of the Japanese automaker, and Toyota's Chinese arm have set up a new company to run the business, together with local dealers.
The car rental service will start out in Hainan, a tropical island in southern China popular with tourists, and may be expanded later to other tourist destinations and large cities. Toyota hopes to capitalize on growth in the Chinese car rental market, driven mainly by the rapid spread of smartphone-based payment.
The new company, Toyota Hainan Mobility, marked the start of operations in mid-January with a ceremony in Hainan. Toyota Financial Services owns 33% of the new company, while Toyota Motor (China) Investment holds a 32% stake. The remaining 35% is held by two Chinese car dealers.
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