Uber to Open Support Center in Bogotá

The center, in which Uber will invest US$40 million, will create 600 jobs over the next five years.

Bogota

Ride-hailing app Uber has chosen the Colombian capital Bogotá to establish a back-office for providing support services to its drivers and other partners across Latin America.

The center, for which Uber has set aside US$40 million, will create 600 jobs over the next five years, according to a Reuters report citing a statement from the Silicon Valley firm.

This will be the company’s third such center in the region, after São Paulo, Brazil and San José, Costa Rica.

The São Paulo office will reportedly also work on developing new features for the app.

The news comes in the wake of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp and SoftBank announcing an investment of US$1 billion in the ride-hailing app to help it accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services.

However, Uber’s service is illegal in Colombia, where the government having threatened drivers that it would cancel their licenses if they work for the US-based firm.

Under pressure from labor unions, the administration of former president Juan Manuel Santos slapped Uber with a hefty fine and confiscated more than 1,000 vehicles, according to local media reports.

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However, Colombians continue to use the app.

Uber will likely struggle to protect its market share in the country, as its Chinese rival Didi Chuxing has also begun recruiting drivers ahead of its launch in Bogotá in the coming months.

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