At a conference on Wednesday, Uber China announced the names of its new executive team in China and briefed the market on its 2016 strategy. Uber China has said it will appoint a new CEO after Christmas.
Uber China revealed key company metrics at the conference, including current market share, administration structure and expansion plans for next year.
Uber China’s market share has increased sharply from the beginning of the year
Uber China’s strategic chief Liu Zhen said that Uber China’s market share has increased from 2% at the beginning of the year to 35%. In some first and second-tier cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Suzhou, Uber has acquired the top spot in the market, above primary Chinese rival Didi Kuaidi.
In terms of city penetration, Uber China covers 21 cities. In contrast, other players in the field are far ahead: Didi Kuaidi covers 199 cities, Yidao Yongche covers 98 cities, and UCAR covers 66 cities.
Apart from marketshare, Uber China has also announced it has partnered with over one hundred car rental companies, which may be a reaction to earlier announced regulations from the government mandating that cars in the ride-hailing business in China must be registered as commercial vehicles.
New appointments and a changed administration structure
Uber China has appointed three new senior executives: South Region manager Luo Gang, Central Region manager Wang Ying and North & West Region manager Zhang Yanqi. These moves suggest Uber China’s business will be based around three regions.
Jiang Zhiya, the person formerly responsible for Beijing city was appointed as Product Manager for Uber China.
According to Liu, the appointment of Uber China’s new CEO has been confirmed and will be released after Christmas.
Despite the new appointments, Uber will still adopt a city-focused strategy.
“Region managers will be responsible more for synergy between cities. Even with a new CEO, city managers will still be in charge of 80-90% of decision making in cities, and region managers will still be able to make most of the decisions for a region,” said Liu.
Business expansion will focus on 2nd & 3rd-tier cities
Uber China will also officially launch its carpooling service and its corporate service U4B (Uber For Business). The carpooling service has been on trial in Chengdu for two months and will be launched in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in December.
The U4B service will launch in China next year. A company with U4B will be able to manage employee commuting schedules through a unified corporate account and a simplified accounting process.
The introduction of region managers also reveals that Uber China’s focus will be on second and third-tier cities next year. Uber China plans to enter 40 new cities in the south of China and 11 new cities in the central region for next year.
Though Liu hasn’t revealed Uber China’s revenue and income, she addressed the issue with a comparison to London, “Uber first made a profit in London three years after launch. We don’t care how much profit we can make out of our revenue but care more about the momentum indicated in our revenue.”
Liu confirmed again, leading tech company Baidu’s participation in Uber China’s B-series funding but said more details would be revealed after Christmas.