retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Call it an ingenious - and unorthodox - way of looking down on the competition.

TechCrunch reports that Uber has launched two new services that are unique to China, where it is working "to beat out its Chinese competitors."

The result of that work is two new services, UberLIFE and Uber + Travel.

UberLIFE is described as as way to keep users on the Uber app "for a longer period of time with a digital magazine that informs riders of cultural events in their cities." Research has shown that people apparently stay on the app even after they've ordered a car, and so Uber wants to take advantage of that as a sales opportunity.

Uber + Travel, the story says, offers something even moe different - the ability to order up boats and hot air balloons, and not just cars.

According to the piece, "The additional offerings come as Uber tries to compete with messaging app WeChat and ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing in China. WeChat has more than 700 million monthly active users and acts as more of a full-service app, giving users the option to make voice and video calls, shop and play games. Ride-hailing app Didi has been operating in China for four years, boasting 11 million rides a day and 300 million users in 400 cities in China."

While these services may have customers, they don't offer boats and hot air balloons.

At least, not yet. If they do, it'll be an Eye-Opener.
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