Home > Business
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 12:48

Uber performs U-turn on Macao exit plan

By Reuters

HONG KONG - Global ride-hailing company Uber Technologies has aborted plans to pull out of Macao, citing support from residents in the Chinese-ruled gambling hub.

Uber launched in Macao less than a year ago but announced at the end of August that it would withdraw from the former Portuguese colony because its drivers faced total fines of 10 million patacas ($1.25 million).

The Macau government has taken a firm stance against Uber, with Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak stating that the service violated local laws.

"After much deliberation, Uber will continue to serve the riders and drivers of Macao, the company said in a statement on its website.

"The unprecedented amount of support we received over the past few weeks has been overwhelming."

The statement said the company had received 23,000-plus online signatures in support of its service and also thanked riders, drivers, residents, visitors and legislators who had championed the company's cause.

"We hope the Government will follow the example set by progressive, pro-innovation policymakers around the region and the world in recognizing the role ride-sharing can play in moving Macau forward," Uber said.

Macao government officials were not immediately available to comment.

Uber has about 2,000 full-time and part-time drivers in the territory and though Macao isn't a large market Uber's exit would have been another blow to the fast-growing US company's ambitions in the region.

Its costly two-year battle to break into the potentially lucrative Chinese market was brought to a close this month with the sale of its operations in the country to Didi Chuxing, though the US company has retained a 20 percent stake.

Latest News