After years of sluggish growth in the Japanese market, Uber is all set to make a renewed effort to revive its fortune in the world’s third largest economy. This is thanks to the fact that the U.S ride-hailing giant has secured permission to start its first ever taxi-hailing pilot service in Japan. The pilot service will be carried out in the tourist island of Awaji that has population of nearly 120,000 people.
The Uber management is most likely to see this development as a minor victory, since it will still have to adhere to tough rules & regulations enacted by the Japanese government. These hostile regulations have been widely considered as the reason for foreign ride-hailing companies’ tepid growth in Japan.
However, Uber seems to be in no mood to quiet this highly regulated market. This may be because the San Francisco based ride hailing giant may not want to see itself getting sidelined in key Asian market like Japan, especially after making an unceremonious exit from Southeast Asian market earlier this year. Technically, barring India and Japan, the U.S. ride hailing giant has now no lucrative Asian market to cater.
But Uber’s quest to make a comeback in Japan will be obviously marked with enormous challenges. Its biggest challenge would most likely come from Chinese ride hailing behemoth Didi Chuxing. Earlier this year, Didi announced that it would form strategic partnership with SoftBank to launch ride hailing app in the world’s third largest economy.
Besides Didi, electronic giant Sony is all set to try its luck in Japan’s ride hailing market. The company announced in February that it would soon launch cab hailing services in partnership with five domestic cab-hailing companies. However, Sony’s cab hailing services would be completely backed by artificial intelligence technology, which would surely make its services more unique than other competitors.