Ride Sharing Is Now Legal in China

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Good news for frequent travelers to China: ride sharing is now legal in the world’s second largest economy. That can only mean more dominance for Uber.

If you haven’t tried Uber yet, you can get a $20 credit on your first ride when you sign up here.

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Here are more details from the Los Angeles Times:

“The new regulations, to take effect Nov. 1, require drivers to have at least three years of driving experience and no violent criminal or drunk-driving history. The ride-hailing companies and driver vehicles must be registered with authorities.

Uber called the new rules a “historic starting point” and hailed China for becoming the first major economy to adopt comprehensive nationwide rules on ride-sharing. The Transportation Ministry, in conjunction with six other government ministries, issued the rules.

“We welcome the new regulations, which send a clear message of support for ride-sharing and the benefits that it offers riders, drivers and cities,” said Zhen Liu, senior vice president of corporate strategy for Uber China.

Uber, which has a strategic partnership with giant Chinese Internet firm Baidu, said it is already operating in more than 60 Chinese cities and aims to raise that to 100 by the year’s end.

The nationwide rules could save Uber from having to fight in individual markets for consistent regulation, like it did and continues to do in the U.S, where the ride-hailing industry is regulated at the state and city level, depending on the market.

The San Francisco company has grand ambitions for its Chinese expansion, and analysts have said much of its $62.5-billion valuation hinges on its potential to own swathes of market share in the world’s most populous nation. This year, Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said the company was losing $1 billion a year trying to establish itself in the Chinese market.”

Bottom Line

Uber makes it easier to visit new cities and fosters a more localized travel experience. Especially for foreign tourists, taking an Uber ride not only provides more travel flexibility, it allows tourists to learn from the driver and gain insight into new destinations.

In addition, if you haven’t tried Uber yet, you can get a $20 credit on your first ride when you sign up here.

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