Uber plans US$1 bil. China in­vest­ment: re­port

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Taxi hail­ing app Uber plans to in­vest seven bil­lion yuan (US$1.1 bil­lion) in China, the Fi­nan­cial Times re­ported on its web­site, cit­ing a com­pany email.

The pa­per said it ob­tained the mes­sage sent to Uber in­vestors this week by its CEO Travis Kalan­ick.

The FT posted a copy of the email file in a hy­per­link within the ar­ti­cle.

“Given our re­cent suc­cess in the re­gion and sub­stan­tial mar­ket share gains, we are plan­ning to in­vest over 7 bil­lion yuan (over US$1 bil­lion) in China in 2015 alone,” the email said, re­fer­ring to ren­minbi, an­other name for the Chi­nese cur­rency.

Uber rid­ers were mak­ing al­most 1 mil­lion trips per day with busi­ness dou­bling in the last month, the email added.

It also said that Uber is op­er­at­ing in 11 cities in China, and over the next year plans to begin op­er­a­tions in 50 of the more than 80 Chi­nese cities that have pop­u­la­tions of more than 5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Uber launched op­er­a­tions in China in Fe­bru­ary last year. The com­pany in China re­fused to com­ment.

“We don’t com­ment on this ar­ti­cle/topic,” Huang Xue, an Uber me­dia of­fi­cial in China, told AFP in an email.

The U.S.-based com­pany helps put cus­tomers in touch with pri­vate driv­ers as an al­ter­na­tive to tra­di­tional taxis.

It has be­come the fo­cus of global con­tro­versy and is fac­ing legal chal­lenges and lim­its on its ac­tiv­i­ties.

Taxi com­pa­nies claim Uber driv­ers should be reg­u­lated in the same way as nor­mal cabs and are lead­ing the cam­paign against the ser­vice, which has a small but grow­ing mar­ket share in China.

The pop­u­lar­ity of pri­vate- car book­ing en­ter­prises such as Uber and China’s dom­i­nant taxi-hail­ing apps Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache has soared in the coun­try, where tra­di­tional taxis are crit­i­cized for poor ser­vice with rude driv­ers who rou­tinely ig­nore cus­tomers on the street.

Uber has drawn the at­ten­tion of au­thor­i­ties in China.

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