Uber launched its service in Hong Kong yesterday, as the mobile app for hailing private hire cars continued its fast global expansion to cover 150 cities in 41 countries.
The official launch in Hong Kong comes after a successful four-week trial period, and follows the recent launch of its Beijing service. Uber is now available in 25 Asian cities, its operations there having begun in Singapore in 2013.
However, Uber will face tough competition in Hong Kong, where existing taxi services are on average more than half the price of London’s. Uber is believed to be looking to target the premium end of the market.
Sam Gellman, Uber Hong Kong general manager, said: “Hong Kong is also a city that prides itself on having a multitude of choices, and we are offering an alternative choice in transportation to anyone that’s willing to pay a little more for a better experience. As an ambitious company, our goal is to ultimately be everywhere.”
Uber, founded in 2009 in San Francisco, has faced opposition from taxi drivers in some markets, with a protest in Trafalgar Square in June drawing 5,000 taxi drivers. However, Uber has continued strong growth, being valued at $18.2bn (£10.6bn) in June.
Meanwhile, today Uber is offering ice cream on demand in London, with app users able to get ice cream delivered between 11am and 7pm.