Rapidly expanding car-on-demand service Uber told CNBC that Hong Kong is its fastest growing market outside of the U.S.
The San Francisco-headquartered firm has seen exponential growth since launching in 2009; it now operates in 150 cities worldwide, up from 100 in April. It set up shop in Hong Kong in mid-July and Thursday launched its taxi app UberTaxi in the city.
"The business here in Hong Kong has been absolutely taking off. It's the fastest growing that Uber's ever had outside of the U.S.," Sam Gellman, general manager for Hong Kong at Uber told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.
Uber is a mobile application that connects passengers with both professional and non-professional drivers of vehicles for hire. Customers request a ride from their smartphone, and the fare is automatically deducted from their credit card, making the service cash-free. The firm also offers a carpooling service which lets riders share and split the cost.
Hong Kong was expected to be a difficult market for Uber, considering average taxi fares are less than half of those in New York and a third of London fares, Deutsche Bank research showed.
The firm told the FT last month that an average ride with an Uber car will be 1.5 to 2 times more expensive than a regular Hong Kong cab, making the service a premium alternative taxi service.
Uber will compete against EasyTaxi - the largest taxi app in Asia - in Hong Kong.