Uber parks its service in Morocco

Uber parks its service in Moroccoā€¯

The electronics giant has signed a letter of intent with Green Cab, International Automobile, Kusumi Transportation, Daiwa Motor Transport, Checker Cab Radio Cooperative Association, and Hinomaru Transportation to improve convenience for customers in the island nation.

Currently, non-professional drivers are barred from offering taxi services on safety grounds, and ride-hailing companies are limited to services that "match" users to existing taxi fleets via mobile platforms. But its new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, has struck a more conciliatory tone after a string of controversies that emerged under the former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

Toyota Motor has said it will take a stake in taxi-hailing service JapanTaxi, set up by Japan's largest taxi firm, Nihon Kotsu. By combining Uber's brand, technology, along with demand from tourists and partnerships with the taxi industry, he said the result would be a "win-win" for Uber and the taxi industry.

Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo said Monday it plans to link up with Uber to provide its app users rides in major Japanese cities with global airports, including Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, as well as Okinawa. Khosrowshahi pushed back against that notion in an interview he gave at Davos, saying the company would be "leaning forward" to expand.

Didi and taxi firm Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo Co Ltd plan to offer taxi-hailing services to visitors from mainland China, with the taxi firm saying on Monday that it was also in talks with Uber.

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Khosrowshahi's enthusiasm echoes comments from Uber's Asia head Brooks Entwistle, who told Bloomberg this year that Japan will be a major focus for the company in 2018.

Khosrowshahi, who took over at Uber a year ago, said in October that "regulating services like Uber is totally appropriate".

Five taxi operators will form a joint venture with Sony to build the platform.

Sony wants to develop a ride-hailing app powered by artificial intelligence and provide a payment service.

Khosrowshahi said he wasn't bothered by SoftBank's announcement this month that it's partnering with Didi to target ride-hailing in Japan.

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