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Uber is Now Officially Legal in China, But There’s a Catch

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    China passed a new law on Thursday making Uber and other ride-hailing services officially legal in the country.

    Uber had previously been operating in China but under a gray legal area. The new law imposes strict rules for Uber drivers: they must have at least three years of experience, no criminal record and must get a license from a local taxi regulator, according to the New York Times.

    Uber drivers also can’t just use any car — vehicles must have less than 370,000 miles on it and must be equipped with GPS tracking.

    Uber hopes to operate in 100 Chinese cities by the end of the year where laws will be enforced by individual cities and provinces.

    Zhen Liu, Uber’s senior vice president for corporate strategy in China wrote in a blog post:

    “This is a welcome step in a country that has consistently shown itself to be forward-thinking when it comes to innovation.

    “Uber China is regulation-ready, and we look forward to working with policy makers around the country to put these regulations into practice.”

    China’s new laws will also apply to Uber’s main competitor in China, Didi Chuxing, which grabbed a $1 billion investment from Apple earlier this year on a $28 billion valuation.

    The ride-hailing laws will be go into effect in November, allowing companies time to meet regulations.

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