After being in Japan for over 6 years now, Uber has finally managed to enter the market of Tokyo, the country’s capital. However, the entry is unlike any other in the world, as technically, the company still cannot operate its own fleet in the region.
The ride hailing service that not only redefined the market, but also introduced a whole new category of ‘Uber-like’ startups, has been in Japan for a long time now, trying to take a slice of the third largest economy in the world. However, it had to stop itself from operating in Tokyo, the country’s capital, due to restrictions placed on the company that prevaricate it from operating its own fleet in the region.
Now, Uber has managed to find a loophole, and while it won’t operate a direct fleet in the region, it will finally enter Tokyo. The company has formed an alliance with Hinomaru Limousine, Tokyo MK Corp and Ecosystem, three domestic taxi services, and will allow Tokyo inhabitants to book a ride from its platform in a car that belongs to one of these companies.
The company has been trying to create some sort of presence in the region, which will come to its aid, now that it is trying to expand into bigger cities. Uber has been focusing on its Uber Eats food delivery service, which has managed to make it a household name. The platform helped Japan tackle the coronavirus pandemic, a deed that has escalated Uber’s goodwill in the region. Uber Eats now operates with almost 25,000 restaurants in 20 prefectures in the area.
However, claiming dominion over this market won’t be easy. China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp have already launched a joint venture named Didi Mobility Japan, and seeing how Japan is SoftBank’s home turf, it’s fair to say that the company has an advantage over Uber. However, only time will decide the fate of this battle.