Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and to celebrate it with a dash of extravagance, private car hire service Uber is letting you hire a lion dance troupe on demand throughout Wednesday.
Uber is branching out from its usual black cabs to send you a lion dance in three Chinese cities — Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — as well as Singapore. All you have to do is download the Uber app and request the ‘Lion Dance’ option — if a troupe is available, it will arrive at your home or workplace within minutes.
For those not in the know, a lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture typically performed during Chinese New Year and other festivals, in which performers mimic the movements of a lion. Here’s an example.
However, demand for such special services tends to be high and Uber warns that availability may be limited — so it could take a couple of tries to find an available lion dance troupe. The lion dance offering will run through 9am to 6pm and will cost CNY188 ($31) in the three Chinese cities, and SG$50 ($39) in Singapore.
Uber has previously experimented with other products for its on-demand taxi-hailing service. In the past, customers have been given the chance to request Christmas trees, ice cream trucks, roses and even kittens for a limited period. The lion dance is the company’s way of localizing its service in Asia — adding on to its increased efforts to expand in the region.
Read: Uber targets Asia, confirming plans to expand to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and beyond
Headline image via Shutterstock
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.