Uber to Shift its Asia-Pacific HQ from Singapore as Coronavirus Hits Rides Business

Uber is considering various new locations for its HQ

American multinational ride-hailing company Uber is set to move its Asia-Pacific headquarters out of Singapore. The company announced that it will slash 3,000 jobs and close 45 offices globally, affecting 120 employees in Singapore. In an e-mail, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber's rides business dropped by 80 per cent in April.

The company's finances have fallen significantly due to stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. In an e-mail sent to employees, Khosrowshahi said the company will relocate its Asia-Pacific hub in a different market where they operate their services and start "winding down" its office in Singapore. Out of 120 employees, some will lose their jobs, the company's spokesperson said.

Uber will move its headquarters from Singapore to a new location within the next 12 months, Channel News Asia reports. It is still unclear where the company will shift its new headquarters. Several cities are being considered and details will be shared soon, it said in a statement.

Finance Team Will Stay in Singapore

Uber Reuters

Depending on requirements, roles will be relocated to the new headquarters but the finance team still stay in Singapore. Uber recently announced it will lay off around 3,700 workers in its customer services and recruitment department. In less than two weeks, through an e-mail on March 18, it notified that it will lay off 3,000 additional employees. Out of several hundreds, around 45 offices, including its product incubator and artificial-intelligence lab, will be closed.

Uber has also decided to shut down its online food ordering and delivering arm, Uber Eats in another South Asian country, Bangladesh, from June this year. "After a year of partnering with local restaurants to offer convenient and reliable food delivery, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue Uber Eats in Bangladesh, on June 2nd 2020," reads a notice published on Uber Newsroom.

According to Fox Business, $50m has been allocated by the company to buy supplies including masks, disinfectant sprays and wipes for drivers. Starting Monday, the app across most parts of the world will verify its drivers and riders to confirm if they are wearing face coverings.

Related topics : Coronavirus