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Uber forced to raise prices by up to 80% in Hong Kong

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If you’re going to be hailing an Uber in Hong Kong — expect to pay a lot more, starting today.

The ride hailing giant has hiked its minimum fare in the territory by as much as 80 percent, a decision that came after an “evaluation of the marketplace.”

Uber announced that the price hike starting Monday would affect UberX, UberBlack and UberAssist services.

The company will also be introducing an additional booking fee of $0.64 (HK$5).

For UberX for example, the minimum fare from Kowloon to the New Territories would be raised from $3.20 (HK$25) to $5.11 (HK$40) — with the booking fee charge, that’s $5.75 (HK$45). Read more…

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China's capital is replacing tens of thousands of taxis with electric cars to fight pollution

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China’s capital city is doing something huge about its perennial pollution issue.

Almost 70,000 petrol powered taxis in Beijing will gradually be replaced with electric vehicles, and any new taxis on the road must be electric, according to a report by the National Business Daily.

The project to replace all the current petrol powered cars is estimated to cost taxi operators $1.3 billion (9 billion yuan).

Some 67,000 of Beijing’s 71,000 taxis currently run on petrol. 

A conventional car is estimated to cost around $10,000, with an electric vehicle double that amount, at $20,000. Read more…

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Malaysia says it'll seize motorcycles being operated as ride-sharing vehicles

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A hot fledgling motorcycle taxi hailing service has hit a wall in Malaysia, after barely getting on the road.

Dego Ride found itself effectively banned from Malaysian streets on Friday, after regulators threatened to seize motorcycles belonging to people offering rides on their vehicles, local news reports say.

The penalty is an unusually stiff one, compared with other countries which have typically issued fines to unauthorised drivers from ride-sharing apps.

A director for the Road Transport Department said that over 6,000 motorcycle riders were registered with Dego Ride in the Klang Valley — an area surrounding Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. Read more…

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Indonesia's largest fleet of taxis teams up to beat ride-hailing apps

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There is a war being waged for Jakarta’s nine million commuters, and the country’s largest traditional taxi company just made a huge play to counter the rising threat from the ride-hailing competition.

Blue Bird, which runs a fleet of 23,000 taxis across the country, announced on Thursday it was teaming up with another big traditional player, Go-Jek.

Go-Jek, which dominates the motorcycle taxi market, has expanded in recent years to cars, under its Go-car feature. 

The move is a strategic one, aimed at tackling a big announcement also made on Thursday by Grab, the reigning ride-hailing app. Read more…

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Ola thinks it has the perfect trick to compete in Uber's fastest growing market

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There’s only so much you can differentiate when you are a cab ride hailing company that is competing with Uber. You could possibly ensure better cars, better service and better pricing.

Having tried most of these, with mixed results, India’s Uber rival Ola is looking at making cab experience more entertaining for riders, hoping it would make riders hop on to its cabs more often.

In November, the Indian company announced Ola Play, a a connected car entertainment platform, through which it gave the controls of the in-car entertainment system to passengers. The service was available only to users who subscribed to Ola’s “Select” plan, which according to the company “saw hundreds of thousands of new users opt for Select subscription, resulting in 3x growth”. Read more…

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