Remember the time when Uber started offering boat rides and helicopters? Well, the company has announced that it will be offering hot air balloon rides too. Before you start jumping up and down with excitement there is something Uber would like to add: the coveted ride is only available in China. Now you want to move to China, eh?
In China, Uber is about to launch a new service by the name of Uber+Travel. Ubers Chinese app will not only provide travellers with ride-hailing service but also the option to request boat and hot air balloon rides.
Ubers Chinese wing has also announced the launch of UberLife, a service which is going to let the users know of entertainment and sporting events in the nearby areas.
Uber has plans to pioneer into uncharted territories by combining different facets of traveling such as entertainment with its core offering i.e., logistics. You might be wondering why Uber chose China to experiment with the new services. The reason is rather simple: Uber is aiming to snatch away Didi Chuxing market share as the later boasts a market share of over 90% in the worlds most populated country. Uber realises that for the app to lure in customers Uber has to offer more than just a ride-hailing service so that customers especially travellers turn to Uber to fulfil all their travel related needs.
Didi Chuxing is a real threat to Ubers growth in China, the former received $1 Billion from Apple in the form of investment. Apple is rumoured to have ventured into transportation for two main reasons; Apples sales in China have significantly slumped so the company has made alliances with a Chinese giant to make profits, apart from that Apple has long been suspected of having aspirations to build an autonomous electric vehicle. An investment in Didi Chuxing could help the company understand the transportation market better while providing it with handsome profits.
Didi Chuxing has been heavily investing in artificial intelligence which could give the company an edge over its rivals, especially Uber. The investment in such a technology means that the company would be able to predict consumer behaviour and become highly responsive. In short, before the customers book a ride, Didi Chuxing would have drivers placed in highly populated areas where customers would be most likely to hail a ride. Such a service could not only mean a higher response rate but also a means to kill the chances of losing a customer to a competitor.
Uber may become the next big thing in China because of its many services and hip appeal but that would only be possible after the American contender knocks its Chinese counterpart out.