Uber Eats exits South Korea, too much competition

Uber Eats
A biker, wearing a 'Uber Eats' food courier backpack, demonstrates during a call on clients to boycott Deliveroo in Paris, France, August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

SEOUL (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc’s restaurant delivery business will terminate its service in South Korea, Uber Eats said on Monday.

Facing intense competition in the world’s No.4 online food delivery market, the U.S. company is struggling to revamp its brand in South Korea.

“After two years’ partnering with local restaurants to offer convenient, reliable food delivery, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue Uber Eats in South Korea at the end of October 14, 2019,” Uber Eats Korea said in a statement, without elaborating on the reasons for the withdrawal.

In South Korea, Uber has faced opposition from taxi drivers and was forced to discontinue a ride-hailing service using private cars in 2015. But it currently offers premium taxi-hailing and licensed taxi-hailing services.

Uber will continue its riding business in the country however, Uber Eats added.

Crowded with home-grown delivery apps, South Korea is the world’s No.4 market for online food orders, industry data shows.

Woowa Brothers, operator of South Korea’s top food delivery app Baedal Minjok, has a market share with 75 percent.

Uber operates Uber Eats services in Asian countries including Japan, India and Hong Kong.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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