More than a year after it first ventured into Asia, popular transportation network company (TNC) Uber has finally arrived in in the fragrant harbor.
As the firm typically does when it enters new markets, Uber marked the occasion by taking two local celebrities for a spin. This time, according to a company blog post (hat-tip TNW), gal-about-town Amanda Strang and actor Carl Ng each took the passenger seat in black sedans to mark Uber’s official “soft launch” in Hong Kong.
It’s taken a long time for Uber to launch its flagship UberBlack service in the densely populated coastal city. Only 18,138 licensed taxis operate in Hong Kong, which has a resident population of 7 million people. That’s roughly comparable to the 13,000-odd taxis in the equally populous New York City, where Uber has thrived. Compared to other Asian cities, market demand for instant ground transport for passengers ought to be quite high in Hong Kong, so Uber’s late launch there comes as a surprise. We’ve yet to discover any specific factors that have delayed Uber’s arrival in Hong Kong (for what its worth, the local taxi industry looks loaded with middlemen and possibly corrupt), and perhaps none exist. Tech in Asia has reached out to Uber for more comments on this matter.
Uber is currently operating in 25 cities in Asia Pacific and 121 cities worldwide.
Editing by Steven Millward; top image via Flickr user Slack12