UberEats eyes debut in Korea this year: report

By Son Ji-hyoung
  • Published : Apr 10, 2017 - 15:48
  • Updated : Apr 10, 2017 - 17:55

UberEats, a food delivery service by US-based ride-hailing company Uber, is reportedly planning to debut in South Korea within this year.

The on-demand delivery app will be available here by no later than the end of this year, according to Yonhap News Agency on Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

This came about a week after Priscilla Baek, public policy lead for Asia at Uber, told The Investor on Wednesday that it was “reviewing whether UberEats will be introduced in Korea” and has not “decided on the exact launch date.”

Since December 2016, Uber Korea, the Korean branch of the US firm, has been hiring senior-level personnel in Asia’s fourth-largest economy for “Uber’s new product group,” which it has yet to reveal details on.

The job openings here came months after Uber carried out aggressive staff recruitment in at least 22 countries including Singapore and Japan.

The arrival of UberEats will mark Uber’s return here after local regulations forced the company to pull its ride-hailing app UberX from Korea in 2015. Its food service was launched in the US in March 2016.

UberEats users in Korea will be able to use the app both here and abroad, according to Uber Korea.

UberEats’ possible entry into Korea is expected to up the ante of the already-fierce online food delivery market, which is mainly dominated by local delivery apps such as Yogiyo, Baedal Minjok and FoodFly. Furthermore, many Korean restaurants also provide free delivery services. 

Local firms often team up with logistics companies to provide such services. In contrast, UberEats allows anyone who meets its criteria to become a driver who can carry out its food deliveries in countries such as the US. 

By Son Ji-hyoung (