Uber pilots a smaller version of its app for emerging market users as it exits Southeast Asia

  • Uber Lite takes up just 5 megabytes of storage, and has a 300-millisecond response time, according to the company.
  • It's currently only available in India but the start-up said it plans to roll the app out to more countries later this year.
Uber's headquarters, in San Francisco
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Uber's headquarters, in San Francisco

Uber unveiled a smaller version of its ride-hailing app on Tuesday, in a bid to appeal to emerging market customers.

The revamped app, called Uber Lite, takes up just 5 megabytes of storage, and has a 300-millisecond response time, according to the company, speeding up the process of booking rides.

Uber Lite is currently only available in India but the start-up said it plans to roll the app out to more countries later this year.

It's aimed at areas with slower internet speeds and users with limited mobile data plans. Uber said that the app would show users a selection of popular pickup locations if their network connection or GPS location tracker is slow. Users will also be able to tap popular destinations rather than manually type them out.

Uber

In March, Uber sold its Southeast Asia business to Singapore-based rival Grab. That wasn't the first time the company was faced with consolidation in international markets. It sold its Chinese business to ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing in 2016 and merged with Russian internet giant Yandex's ride-hailing unit earlier this year.

Uber also faces competition from a $7 billion Indian competitor called Ola. Ola, which is backed by China's Tencent and Japan's SoftBank, bought up the Indian unit of online food delivery service Foodpanda late last year, signaling a challenge to Uber's food delivery service UberEats.