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Rent-a-ride app Uber launches in Shenzhen

Posted: 12/3/2013 11:00 am

Popular mobile app Uber has launched in Shenzhen, its second city in China after Shanghai.

Uber allows users of Android and iOS to request a car pick them up and confirm the fare, which is paid for via credit card through the mobile device. It’s become quite popular in the United States, so Uber has been expanding quickly in Asia.

Tech In Asia reports the launch in Shenzhen is expected to be low key, at least in the beginning:

As is Uber’s usual strategy, this is a limited, “secret Uber” roll-out that serves as a testing phase, probably for a couple of months. Uber’s blog post on this topic (via TheNextWeb) notes that Uber’s limos will be available around the Nanshan, Futian and Luohu neighborhoods of Shenzhen, but might be in short supply for now.

Uber’s minimum fare in Shenzhen is RMB 40 ($6.50), which is more than three times the starting rate of a local taxi.

Uber’s blog post on the launch in Shenzhen explains how the service works:

Download the Uber app on your iPhone or Android device and register with your credit card. Pinpoint your location and within minutes of requesting, a professional driver will appear with a luxurious Audi A6L stocked with Wi-Fi, water and chargers. Your private driver will be ready to take you wherever you want – whether you are crossing the HK Border, strolling the OCT Loft, or dining at your favorite spot in CoCo Park.

New to Uber? Use the promo code “SecretSZ” for one free ride up to RMB 200.

Uber is something we’ll definitely try out at least once (especially during rush hour when taxis are hard to find). It’s interesting that Uber picked Shenzhen as an early launch city, even beating out Beijing and Guangzhou. It speaks to the city’s cutting-edge and tech-friendly image.

(h/t @lantaumama)

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