Myanmar finally gets its slice of the Uber pie, as the company announces the rollout of its licensed taxi services after nearly a month of making their expansion plans public. The country of 50 mn people holds a highly promising market for internet based services due to a booming adoption of smartphones and other internet devices.
Uber Gaining the Upper Hand
Many tech firms are eyeing Myanmar along with other Asia Pacific countries for similar reasons, and Uber has been at the forefront of the online taxi service businesses in Myanmar. Uber’s primary rival for the time being for Myanmar is Grab, which launched its beta version of applications in March. Although Grab only launched its beta version apps in Yangon, the nation’s capital, Uber is expected to receive strong government backing. Reasons cited for the added government support include the fact that Uber are only planning to work with licensed drivers.
Government Support Likely to Continue
Phyo Min Thein, chief minister of the Yangon Region, has stated that he welcomes the launch of Uber in Myanmar and the fact that they wish to work only with licensed drivers. Uber’s seemingly unconventional move fits perfectly with the nation’s currently tightening grip on the high number of unlicensed drivers. The steady influx of Uber’s digital program also helps the government pave way for an increasingly digital adaptation of services without taking business away directly from the existing local taxis.
U.S. ambassador Scot Marciel mentioned that the launch of Uber in Myanmar could also help improve the relations between the two nations. Myanmar becomes the 57th country to invite Uber services on to its roads.