Expat Life Shanghai: Setting Up DiDi in China

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Setting Up DiDi in China is part of the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.


You’ve read the post about how TPOL Is the Creepy Old Guy in Shanghai. While I didn’t try to set up a Chinese bank account, after much effort I did manage to get Didi to work. It is an essential. Trying to hail a cab is next to impossible during peak times.

Initially, I couldn’t link a credit card and could only use DiDi to call taxis. This was still more convenient than trying to flag down a cab on the street. Eventually, the credit card did work though I’m not sure which of the following did the trick:

  1. Updating the DiDi app.
  2. Deleting my Citi Prestige MasterCard and switching to Chase Ink Visa.
  3. Trying continuously despite receiving error messages.

Once it finally worked, I never had an issue until I had to pay a 3RMB fee for making a driver, who never showed up to the right location, wait. For that, I couldn’t use my credit card and I couldn’t book another ride until I paid the fee. Luckily, I had 30RMB in my WeChat from years ago. I was able to pay and book another ride. But for that, I would still be locked out.

TPOL’s TIP: You definitely should take the time to set up DiDi. It’s worth the error messages. Don’t cancel a ride if you owe a driver for waiting. I would be out of luck if I hadn’t had that credit in my account.

The look of concern as DiDi takes over the taxi circuit.

Thank you for reading Setting Up DiDi in China. Keep up the fun by reading the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.

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