First Hot Air Balloon Competition In China
Residents look at a hot air balloon taking off September 25, 2005 on the outskirt of Beijing, China.  Guang Niu—Getty Images

You Can Get Hot Air Balloon Rides Through Uber Now

Jun 28, 2016

In an effort to become a one-stop-shop for travelers, Uber's Chinese arm is launching a new service called Uber+Travel, which allows users in the country to request boat rides in addition to hot air balloon excursions.

Kate Wang, Uber China's vice president of operations and regional general manager of central China, made the announcement on stage at TechCrunch Shanghai. The San Francisco-based company is also rolling out a new service in China called UberLife, which is meant to connect users to nearby entertainment and sporting events.

"This reminds us that Uber is a global service serving global citizens," said Wang, according to TechCrunch. "It is rooted in each of the cities."

Uber has previously experimented with various modes of transportation that cater to different markets around the world, offering boats in Istanbul and helicopters in New York City through partnerships.

The expansion could help Uber China compete against local rival Didi Chuxing, which claims nearly 90% of the private car-hailing market in China. Apple also invested $1 billion in the company last month. Uber executives have said they will be able to take on Didi in the future, but the company is spending large amounts of cash to compete in China.

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