Uber announced today that the company has set up a subsidiary named Shanghai Wubo Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Shanghai Free Trade Zone. With a registered capital of 2.1 billion RMB ($330 million USD), this will make Uber the largest registered internet company in Shanghai.
Uber disclosed that it is transferring all business in China to local servers. To further push its China expansion, the company is going to invest a total 6.3 billion RMB ($992 million USD) in the country over the coming years.
The U.S. taxi app, which first landed in China in February 2014, already operates in 21 Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Hangzhou. Now, its looking to increase that number to 100 within the next 12 months with the launch of more localized services, according to an announcement from the company.
Despite the quick growth, Uber has been feeling pressure on multiple sides from local government and competitors. This year, police visited the company’s offices in many cities and Uber drivers were arrested in Hong Kong for supposedly operating a portion of their business illegally.
To address policy issues, Liu Zhen, head of Uber China, noted that Chinese authorities are drafting regulations to standardize the country’s taxi-hailing industry, and Uber is ready to comply to the rules and apply for licenses when the regulations were officially released.
On the other hand, Uber is also facing tough competition from well-established local peers like Didi-Kuaidi and Shenzhou Zuche as the major players are getting more ammunition to finance their market-grabbing battle.
It’s no secret that China, the world’s largest transpiration market, is an important part of Uber’s global push. The company has rolled out a series of localized features like People’s Uber for Chinese users. Shortly after launching uberCOMMUTE in Chengdu, the world’s first city to experience this car-pooling service, Uber opened its API in China this September to empower more local developers.
Image credit: Uber