UberCommute is Uber’s new long-distance carpooling service

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China’s ride-sharing services may be trying desperately to hinder Uber’s expansion in the country, but it doesn’t seem to be working. The company has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars to speed up its expansion into what it considers one of its most important markets, and the latest product of that expansion is UberCommute. First launching in the Chinese city of Chengdu, UberCommute is a new carpooling service that differs from UberPool in that it focuses primarily on long-distance traveling. In the same blog post where it announced UberCommute, the company also named Chengdu its “number one city in the world.”

Uber is today launching a new product in its number one city – and it might not be where you’d expect it. It’s “the first time we’ve launched a new global product outside the United States,” said Uber in a blog post introducing UberCommute. The new UberCommute launches first in Chengdu, the capital of central China’s Sichuan province, which Uber revealed today is now the company’s “number one city in the world” – presumably in terms of the number of daily rides. Chengdu is known as the home of the pandas. UberCommute is about carpooling, but it’s different from UberPool which recently expanded from the US into India and a few other countries in that it focuses on longer distances – mainly on regular commutes to work. A few months back, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that three Chinese cities (Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu) were bigger than New York in terms of the number of rides each day. “We’ve chosen China to pilot UberCommute […] because of the tremendous appetite amongst Chinese drivers and riders for creative new ways to get from A to B, affordably and reliably. Over time we hope to adapt UberCommute for other cities around the world so that more people can carpool, helping reduce costs for everyone while also cutting congestion,” said Uber in a statement today.

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