American rideshare company Uber and its Chinese rival Didi Chuxing are cruising on the good news today that China has taken a step towards making their businesses more legal.
China's Ministry of Transportation and six other agencies issued rules that become effective on November 1, 2016. These rules bring the businesses out of the grey area in which they've operated. They set guidelines for drivers and cars, but leave much of the decision-making in the hands of local governments.
For example, drivers need to have clean driving records and have already been driving for three years. Their cars also must have less than about 600,000 kilometers on their odometers or less than eight years old.
Though the national government issued the rules, the local governments still have the ability to deny Uber and Didi access to operate within municipalities. So even more government relations work will go into the planning for these businesses as they plan to carve out their space within China.