Uber rolls its luxury private car service out in Hong Kong

The app-connected taxi service returns to Hong Kong after a brief stint during the Sevens

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 1:22pm

After successful openings in other cities across mainland China, popular luxury transportation company Uber has finally launched its cars in Hong Kong.

The firm announced the launch on its official blog on June 17, confirming that actor Carl Ng and socialite Amanda Strang had both taken black "secret Uber" sedans that day to commemorate an "initial testing period" for the company's vehicles in Hong Kong.

"In this city full of transportation choices, Uber brings a reliable, comfortable, seamless option to the mix," the blog post reads. "Whether you’re rushing to get home from a long day’s work in Central, treating a special someone to a night at a gourmet private kitchen in Sai Ying Pun, or shopping in Causeway Bay, Uber is here for you."

During the company's Hong Kong testing period, car availabilty appears to be primarily focused on Hong Kong island, particularly in the areas surrounding Central. 

Essentially a personal taxi service, Uber users are able to select from a variety of private four-person sedans via a mobile app.

Vehicles listed for deployment in Hong Kong currently include a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand.

Trips are paid for via credit card and the official Uber Hong Kong website currently lists a base fare of HK$35 plus HK$2 per minute and HK$9.32 per kilometre. 

Previously, Uber offered its cars to Hongkongers for a limited time during the Hong Kong Sevens in March. 

The company's complete rollout in the city has been slow compared to its presence in other Chinese metropolises including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Sam Gellman, the head of growth for Uber Asia, previously said in early 2014 that Shanghai was the company's top market in China.

Originating in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has entered more than 60 markets worldwide.

A June 2014 round of funding placed the company's value at an estimated US$18.2 billion.

Update: A previously published version of this article listed the price of an Uber vehicle as only costing HK$35 plus HK$2 per minute. The article has been changed to reflect the HK$9.32 per kilometre fee.