Uber Eats to leave Hong Kong after five years, Retail News, ET Retail


(Representative image)

Hong Kong: Online food delivery platform Uber Eats announced on Tuesday that it will be leaving Hong Kong at the end of 2021, ending a five-year battle for a share of the competitive food delivery market.

Uber announced the “difficult decision” in an online statement, which gave no reason why it was shutting down operations.

The company said it would now redouble its commitment to its ridesharing in Hong Kong, a business that remains in a legal gray area.

Launched in 2016, Uber Eats was a laggard in the food delivery industry in Hong Kong where Foodpanda and Deliveroo had a head start and have since become the two dominant players.

According to the data platform Measurable AI, Uber Eats only manages a 5% market share, compared to 44% for Deliveroo and 51% for Foodpanda.

Hong Kong was one of the first international cities where Uber’s main ridesharing business took hold, as it quickly expanded outside of the United States.

In a city known for its unwelcoming taxi drivers who often refuse rides and only accept cash, the app has become a major hit with many Hong Kongers.

But Uber has faced stiff opposition from local taxi groups and a government that has refused to legalize the ridesharing industry.

In 2018, a group of 24 Uber drivers were convicted and fined for carrying passengers without a rental car license and their appeal was dismissed two years later.

Uber continues to operate and the police are spotty with periodic crackdowns.

The platform began to include taxis and earlier this year purchased the local HK Taxi app, a move it said would lead to the legalization of its operations.

On its seventh birthday in Hong Kong last month, Uber said it had 216,000 registered drivers in the city, which represented more than 25% of its global business.

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