This week, ride-hailing and taxi apps have received very different reactions in China and Indonesia.
On Monday, China's Transport Minister Yang Chuantang said the country is planning to regulate taxi apps to coexist with traditional cabbies while Indonesia's Transportation Ministry is working to block these same apps. In a letter signed by Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan, the ministry said that Uber and Grab Car, two popular taxi-hailing apps, had violated transportation regulations by using private vehicles not registered as public transportation. The services, he added, did not have the necessary licenses to operate a taxi service. The letter comes after an estimated 2,000 taxi and bus drivers gathered in protest of the apps in downtown Jakarta.
While the taxi apps are facing criticism in Indonesia, they are gaining support in China. "After being approved as operating vehicles through certain procedures, private cars will be allowed to undertake operational transport services," Chuantang told reporters. Different ministries have been working on the plans for ride-hailing apps in the country for the past year with varying support, but this marks a positive change for services like Uber and Didi Kuaidi. China's market favors Didi Kuaidi, a merger of two popular apps, with about 87.2 percent of the market. Uber is working to get a foothold in the region, but loses over $1 billion a year in China. With new regulations possibly around the corner, it would be wise for Uber to hang on. Didi Kuaidi estimates that China's ride-hailing market will be worth $50 billion by 2020.
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