After six years of operation in Japan, Uber Technologies Inc. is finally offering its ride sharing services in Tokyo.
The San Francisco-based company partnered with 3 incumbent taxi firms (Hinomaru Limousine Co., Tokyo MK Corp and Ecosystem) to offer its ride sharing service in Tokyo’s central business district, as well as the Akihabara, Asakusa and Shinagawa areas.
Japan has strict rules governing ride sharing resulting in a number of regulatory challenges. However, Uber had managed to build partnerships with other Japanese taxi firms in order to operate in Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, as well as other provincial cities years prior to its Tokyo launch on Friday.
The story is slightly different for Uber’s food delivery arm, Uber Eats.
Just 5% of taxi rides are booked online or with apps in Japan, with the vast majority of locals simply hailing taxis in the street for their rides.