Uber CEO to visit Japan, India in Feb on charm offensive

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi will make his first visit to Asia next month as the new head looks to improve the image of the controversial ride-sharing firm in the region.

Khosrowshahi will visit Japan and India in the week of Feb. 19 to meet with high-ranking government officials, regulators, business partners and employees, an Uber spokesman said.

“Asia is an important region for Uber, and a focus for our investment in 2018 and beyond,” the spokesman said, adding that Khosrowshahi plans to discuss “ways Uber can better serve riders, drivers and cities”.

Khosrowshahi’s visit will bolster efforts by Uber’s Asia head, Brooks Entwistle, to reassure regulators after a string of controversies damaged the firm’s reputation and led to the exit of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick in 2017.

Last week, Uber received a much-needed boost when a consortium led by SoftBank Group Corp closed a deal to take a 17.5 percent stake.

Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Himani Sarkar