Uber, the ridesharing app, has done an about-face in Macau, saying on Friday (Sept. 9) that it isn’t exiting the market, which it said in August it would do.
On its website, Uber cited support for its about-face. “The unprecedented amount of support we received over the past few weeks has been overwhelming — from the 23,000+ online signatures, to those of you who created your own polls and petitions and wrote to your government representatives, in addition to the riders and drivers, residents, visitors and legislators who championed our cause. We’ve heard every single one of you, and we could not be more grateful … So, after much deliberation, Uber will continue to serve the riders and drivers of Macau.”
Uber went on to note that ridesharing services have been embraced by policymakers in more than 120 jurisdictions around the world and believes it shares the same goal as the government in Macau. “We hope the government will follow the example set by progressive, pro-innovation policymakers around the region and the world in recognizing the role ridesharing can play in moving Macau forward,” Uber said.
Less than a year ago, Uber entered the market in Macau but said in late August it would exit because its drivers were getting hit with fines that totaled $1.25 million. The Macau government isn’t keen on Uber, with the Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak reportedly saying the service was in violation of local laws.
According to Reuters, Uber has around 2,000 full-time and part-time drivers in Macau. Although it isn’t a huge market for the ride-hailing app company, it would be a hit to its plans to grow in the region. Its fight to get into the Chinese market ended with the sale of its business in China to Didi Chuxing. Uber retained a 5 percent stake.