Uber China revealed its plans to launch in 15 new cities over the next few weeks, with the goal to expand to 100 Chinese cities by the end of 2016.

The ride-hailing company will initially expand its services to be available in 15 cities in Sichuan, the southwestern Chinese providence that is the fourth most populated with over 80 million people, with plans to do so before the Chinese New Year on Feb. 8.

Uber is already available in 22 cities in China, including in Sichuan's capital Chengdu, which is the company's top city for weekly completed trips worldwide, as well as in Hong Kong, Macau, and recently launched in the Sichuan city of Mianyang.

It would make sense the company would set the goal to have the first wave of Uber cars launched in more cities before the Chinese New Year since it it is one of the busiest days of the year to travel.

After the Chinese New Year, Uber will continue to roll out its services to new areas to reach its massive expansion goal of its services offered in 100 cities in China.

"2015 was Uber China's 'Year of Localization' and 2016 will be our 'Year of Growth'," Zhen Liu, Uber China's head of strategy, said in a statement. "We have built a strong foundation across the country and have put in place an excellent local team that will drive our growth in the year ahead."

While the expansion to reach 100 new cities by the end of the year sounds like an ambitious plan, Uber China had just reached $2 billion (in U.S. dollars) in funding from investors.

Even after becoming widespread in China, Uber will still be behind its competitor Didi Kuaidi, China's biggest ride-sharing company (which is available in over 360 Chinese cities and towns).

But Uber China has plans to set itself apart from its competition, specially in Chengdu, where it will open ride-stations where passengers can meet drivers at the city's popular landmarks — marked by a panda-themed sign.

Source: Tech Crunch

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