Uber introduces Chinese API developer platform
Fri 25 Sep 2015
Uber announced yesterday that it would be expanding the availability of its API tools for Chinese developers, allowing apps in China to embed the tax-hailing feature.
In a blog post, the company said that it would make the platform publicly available in Chinese, as it did in English last year, making changes to the API service to comply with China-specific documentation and adding a Chinese-speaking developer relations team.
‘Empowering developers to build moving experiences using the Uber API is a key part of our mission of transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere and for everyone,’ read the statement.
Uber is already available through Baidu Maps – China’s leading maps app – which features a ‘Get a car’ button linking to Uber’s network and the Mobile Baidu search app. Uber’s statement also confirmed that it would be partnering with travel website and app Qyer and artificial intelligence (AI) startup Raven tech.
Through the Uber API Qyer users will be able to request a ride to a nearby hotel, restaurant or tourist spot in 61 countries and 339 cities around the world. Y Combinator-backed and Microsoft Venture Accelerator alumni Raven tech, will also make use of the Uber API to offer users the ability to query its virtual assistant ‘EVA’ to request an Uber.
To celebrate the China API launch, Uber is hosting a hackathon for Chinese developers.
Earlier this week, the taxi-hailing giant launched UberCommute in Chengdu – its ‘number one’ city, to enable drivers who commute longer distances to share travel costs through carpooling.
Uber has long been in the chase to conquer the Chinese market, facing tough competition from domestic rival Didi Kuaidi which currently dominates the industry. However, its recent partnerships with Baidu, in December last year, and with other Chinese tech firms has helped Uber to be able to better compete with the Tencent and Alibaba-backed giant.