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Courier Bicycles to Deliver Food in Tokyo

TOKYO—Uber Technologies Inc. plans to launch its food-delivery business in Japan on Thursday, preparing for a gradual rollout across a country where its main ride-hailing business is barred.

Uber is introducing the service, dubbed UberEats, in Tokyo, a city where good restaurants are plentiful but their food isn’t always available for delivery.

Tokyo is the 34th city UberEats has entered. The company says it will launch the service in other Japanese cities soon. Bicycle couriers will pick up orders from more than 150 restaurants and deliver food boxes to customers.

Uber is barred from running its main ride-hailing business in Japan. It instead connects users to established taxi companies and limousine services. Taxis are plentiful in Japanese cities and public transportation is highly popular, making Uber’s normal sales pitch more difficult.

UberEats may be the company’s best chance at generating significant revenue from Japan for the immediate future. Simon Rossi, the head of UberEats in Asia, said he expects Tokyo to be the best-performing UberEats market in Asia. -WSJ

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