Uber Stops Moving its Asian Headquarters to Hong Kong

July 31, 2020 2:45 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Uber, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant, on Thursday announced it has suspended the plan to move the Asia-Pacific headquarters to Hong Kong, deciding to extend its stay in Singapore until at least December 2022.

The decision of halting relocation came after Beijing enacted the national security law for Hong Kong, which aroused concerns about the city's future as an international business hub because the law gives authorities access to data and the ability to censor content.

In May, the company said it was considering relocating the regional headquarter to Hong Kong if the government legalizes its ride-sharing business.

Estyn Chung, general manager of Uber Hong Kong, announced the plan on May 26, promising that the move would create jobs, bring top-class talent and help create an innovation and engineering hub in the city.

Uber's business stands in a legal gray area in Hong Kong. The authorities had clamped down on the company's operations many times since it was launched in the city in 2014, as peer-to-peer ride-sharing is illegal in the region.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, people were encouraged to work from home and keep social distancing, which heavily struck Uber's ride-hailing business. The company laid off more than 3,000 employees in May and announced that it would close 45 offices around the world, including its Singapore headquarters.

The company opened an office in Singapore in 2019 to oversee operations in 9 markets, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Taiwan.