Taxi-hailing app firm Uber, facing difficulties in many markets due to regulatory issues, launched its food delivery service in Tokyo today.

The UberEats service is initially free and available only in central Tokyo. Customers can order takeout from 150 restaurants promoted on the app, AP reported.

UberEats has been launched in eight countries and 34 cities.

The company’s ride-hailing service has struggled in recent months in Asia, with its drivers fined in some markets amid strong opposition from taxi-driver organisations.

In Japan Uber only offers its high-end taxi service (Uber Black) and has begun limited ride-sharing in some rural areas, AP reported.

Uber, which in late July agreed to sell its loss-making business in China to local rival Didi Chuxing, is shifting its focus in many markets to carpooling. It launched its carpooling service in Jakarta and Manila in May and June.

Uber reportedly will end its taxi service in Hong Kong to focus on its ride-sharing business, because of the difficulty drivers have in obtaining permits. Last month it said it would pull out of Macau in early September after its drivers faced steep fines there, but has backtracked on the move.