Uber re-launches service in South Korea

Seoul, Nov 13 (IANS) App-based cab operator Uber on Friday said it has signed an agreement with a local car manufacturer to re-launch its services in South Korea.

UberBlack, the company’s premium taxi service that offers rides only to foreigners and the disabled in South Korea presently, is set to extend services to all in Seoul and Incheon by the end of 2015, an Uber spokesperson told EFE news.

However, this time the company will not use its own drivers but limit itself to putting customers in contact with South Korean luxury taxi drivers who will be distinguished by the black colour of their cars and for charging higher-than-usual rates.

Uber has also signed an agreement with Kia, in an attempt to gain the confidence of the taxi drivers, whose protests against what they saw as unfair competition from Uber finally led to the suspension of its services in March.

Under the agreement, all drivers who work for the US firm will enjoy discounts on purchases from Kia K9, the brand’s most luxurious sedan in the South Korean market.

Despite this incentive, Uber’s return to the country has got a cold reception from the taxi drivers, only a few of whom have agreed to partner with the company.

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