Uber is almost at one million rides per day in mainland China according to a leaked internal letter from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick which fell into the hands of Financial Times journalists.
In the letter (embedded below), Kalanick states that the Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu are now larger than New York in terms of the number of rides.
More startling is the rapid rate of growth the company has experienced since landing on the mainland. The following table compares Uber’s progress in key cities against the growth rate registered when launching their service in New York.
If a table doesn’t cut it for you, perhaps this graph will. It illustrates how the growth in rides across Uber’s 11 mainland Chinese cities is by far outpacing the rest of the world.
While Uber launched a beta version of their app in August 2013, the CEO bases his numbers on the official launch date of February 2014.
Mr Kalanick said in the email that Uber plans to launch in 50 of the more than 80 cities with more than 5m residents over the next year, and that China will surpass the US as the largest market for the company by the end of the year.
More controversially, Kalanick accuses Tencent of shutting down Uber public accounts on its WeChat messaging platform. He also says that drivers are being paid to stage protests against Uber, but doesn’t say where the funding is coming from.
The letter, which may have been purposely leaked, indicates that any recent hiccups in the Chinese market, such as having its offices in Chengdu and Guangzhou raided or the emergence of government-backed copycat apps, has done nothing to dampen Uber’s explosive growth.
Read the letter in full below:
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via Tech in Asia]