Uber to expand to 60 cities in China

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United States-based Uber Technologies Inc unveiled its mid-year development strategy for the Chinese market in Beijing on Wednesday focusing on improving travel experiences both at home and abroad.

The strategy, named "Uber + Travel", is featured with Uber's partnership with well-known Chinese travel brands, such as Hainan Airlines, Qunar.com, Jd.com, Qyer.com and China Telecom, in products and marketing.

"The Chinese market is very important to us. Today we do more trips in China than the United States," said Emil Michael, Uber's chief business officer.

The world's most popular ride-hailing app made its entrance into the Chinese market by establishing an independent entity in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in February 2015.

"We will launch Uber service in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in July, the 60th city in China," said Liu Zhen, senior vice president of Uber China.

"With our expansion to more third and fourth-tier cities in the first half year and the operation of ride sharing business (UberPool) in 15 cities, we grabbed about one third of the market share in China, much more than the one percent at the beginning," Liu added.

A report released by the China National Tourism Administration said China's booming tourism industry contributes about 10 percent of the country's GDP.

According to Uber statistics, Chinese tourists made 1 million Uber rides in foreign countries in the first five months of the year. While foreign users finished with 3 million Uber orders in 24 Chinese cities in the same period.

In order to better convenience Chinese users, Uber teamed up with Alipay earlier this year to offer yuan payment options in rides outside China.

The US tech company received a $3.5 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund at the beginning of June. With the completion of G round fundraising, the unicorn startup's valuation will amount to $62.5 billion.

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