Uber Technologies announced Wednesday that it will start a food delivery service in Japan after the company’s primary ride-hailing service met with multiple obstacles thanks to the country’s strong taxi lobby.
The service called UberEATS will reportedly launch Thursday in central Tokyo where food delivery isn’t always available. The company added that UberEATS will be launched in several other cities in the country over time. With the latest development, Japan becomes the 8th country and Tokyo the 34th city for UberEATS.
Drivers will pick up food from over 150 restaurants in Tokyo and deliver them to customers. The global average for the delivery is about 30 minutes. UberEATS reportedly hopes to launch in at least 22 countries soon in addition to the ones where it is already operational.
Uber, which is looking to expand its presence in the South Asian market, pulled out of China two months ago and is facing stiff competition from local rivals like Singapore-based Grab and Indonesia’s Go-Jek. Currently, Uber works as a travel agent in Tokyo putting customers in touch with established taxi services. Earlier this year, it also launched two ride-hailing services that target the elderly in rural areas in Japan.
With UberEATS, reports said that the company will take a percentage of the revenue from the restaurants it is working with but the price of the food will remain as is on the menu. Delivery would be free at first but will be charged later.