Uber Technologies – the US mobile platform car-sharing service known now for the European protests, faces more challenges as China’s largest competing platform – Yongche.com aims to launch its service in San Francisco and New York.
The car-sharing service has been hugely successful in the US and also in the European cities where it was implemented, challenging the established and more traditional services – like cabs and limos – which spurred huge protests in Europe, culminating these days with a concerted traffic lockdown from cabbies in some of the biggest European capitals.
Now, more trouble heads Uber’s way in the form of the competing platform that sees the ride-sharing app of the Beijing-based company planning a US expansion, adding the two cities to its other 57 in China and Hong Kong.
“Most Chinese don’t speak English and find it difficult to communicate with foreign drivers after they land in another country,” said Herman Zhou, 41, founder and chief executive officer of China’s largest mobile car-sharing service. “We will have Chinese-speaking drivers in the U.S. and other places to make it seamless and stress-free.”
The service aims to differentiate from others available in the US by using the Mandarin-speaking drivers to cater to the Chinese customers – especially to the tourists that have little knowledge of the language. Yongche bets more on the same customers it has in China – for example when a Shanghai or Beijing user travel abroad – to make a dent into the fast-growing business of car-sharing services in the US.