Uber will go public in China, but it won’t be until at least two years later, Uber’s Head of China strategy Liu Zhen said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Liu said to 21st Century Business Herald that Uber aims to cover over 100 cities in China in the future and going public will be a part of Uber China’s strategy.
At the press conference, Uber China announced insurance coverage for passengers up to RMB one million (USD 1570,000) together with China Taiping Insurance, to promote further expansion in China following the lead of main rival Didi Chuxing.
On Tuesday, Didi Chuxing launched insurance for passengers and drivers with coverage up to RMB 1.2 million together with China’s Ping An Insurance.
The new launches are regarded as a response to the new regulations governing the ride-hailing business published earlier this month, and also an approach to lower the risk of operation for ride-hailing businesses.
To improve security, Uber has also added in an SOS feature so passengers can report real-time location and detailed information about their drivers through the click of a button in an emergency.
The new regulations on the ride-hailing business will require certification and examination of drivers and registry of vehicles prior to the commencement of operations. It’s expected regulation will reduce the number of private drivers available for hailing services. Drivers without licenses will be fined up to RMB 30,000 (USD 4718).
The new regulations were linked with an incident on Tuesday in Chengdu. A local Uber driver was arrested after a physical fight broke out and subsequent confrontation with police who fined him for illegally operating. It is said that hundreds of Uber drivers showed up to the police station to protest. Uber claims Chengdu is its largest operation in the world with 3.5 million passengers and 770,000 registered drivers.
Liu said it will take time for the industry to adjust to the new regulations but she has also called for a more open minded approach to new online business models.