Uber Technologies will spend more than $150 million in a joint venture with SK Telecom of South Korea to divide its mobility business into a subsidiary sometime this year, Uber said Friday.
Uber's partnership with SK Telecom is its latest attempt at growing its services and easing regulatory pressures in South Korea. The two companies said SK Telecom will form T Map Mobility from Dec. 29. Uber will put in $50 million as direct capital, Bloomberg News reported.
T Map is South Korea's No. 1 mobility app with more than 12 million users a month. SK Telecom provides taxi-hailing and parking services.
The joint venture will see Uber engaging in a market where the company has been met with a lot of competition - including resistance from local taxi drivers and government policies which forced it to stop deploying private vehicles for its ride-hailing service in 2015.
SK Telecom's spinoff is composed of more than 750,000 taxi users and 200,000 drivers. Once T Map Mobility is formed, the company will set up its own subsidiary - a joint undertaking with Uber - that is yet to be named. Uber will reportedly spend $100 million for a 51% share.
SK and Uber's ride-hailing operations in South Korea have fallen behind Kakao Taxi - currently the country's most in-demand ride-sharing company.
Uber's money-making ventures in South Korea have yet to reach their revenue targets. It scrapped its food-delivery service after falling short of domestic player Woowa Brothers Corp.
Uber said Thursday it was hiring 225 engineers in India to boost its technology unit in big overseas markets months after the company restructured - resulting in thousands of job losses worldwide.