Uber Rebrands to Promote Its Nonprofit Service in China

It's a pretty big cultural readjustment.

Most of the world’s largest international firms know that promoting a company in China is an entirely different sort of challenge.

Take, for example, Uber.

Despite the fact that the company tried to comply with local rules by operating as a nonprofit entity in China (no surge pricing, etc.), authorities in Beijing still cracked down on Uber in January, restating the fact that “private car operators’ business models are illegal.”

The company responded with a new campaign positioning itself as both a public service provider and a way for local entrepreneurs to make extra money. It’s literally “The People’s Uber.” Here’s the video released over the weekend:

According to the ad, Uber:

  • reduces traffic congestion
  • reduces air pollution
  • helps more “entrepreneurs” operate independently

China is about people, and People’s Uber helps bring them together.

Will the new push work? Probably.

In the meantime, it makes for an interesting case study in cultural rebranding.