Uber eyes expansion in Singapore, Japan to beat competition: report

Uber's Asia Pacific Chief Business Officer Brooks Entwistle in an interview in Tokyo, Japan. Reuters

Ride-hailing firm Uber is planning an expansion in Japan and is offering faster booking and cheaper rides to gain share in Singapore, its executive told Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based company has no plans to withdraw from the region after SoftBank Group Corp's investment in Uber, said Brooks Entwistle, Chief Business Officer, Asia Pacific told Bloomberg.

"I have been given absolute instructions to run and grow the business. That's what I'm doing, and that's what I'm going to do," said 50-year -old Entwistle.

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Japan will be a major focus for Uber in 2018, he said. The company is in early talks with several taxi companies in the country, and he expects to strike more than one partnership there, as per the report.

Uber is also in talks with payments firms across Asia to ink partnerships similar to its tie-up with Vietnamese mobile wallet company MoMo, the report said.

Last year, Uber announced a S$642 million tie-up with ComfortDelGro to help Singapore's largest taxi operator expand its mobility services and beat competition from private-hire car operators.

The Competition Commission of Singapore is reviewing the proposed collaboration between ComfortDelGro and Uber Technologies to see if the merger would result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market in Singapore.

This article was first published on February 1, 2018