#Asia Jakara governor gives Uber green light to operate in Jakarta


WeChat just declared war on Uber

No more roadblocks. As of yesterday, Uber is legal in Jakarta. Illustration by Tech in Asia’s Andre Gunawan.

Good news for those of us who have been using Uber’s services in Indonesia.

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is known by his nickname Ahok, on Monday officially declared Uber legal in Jakarta, Uber said in a statement. Uber met with Ahok after the company received approval from the foreign investment coordinating board (BKPM), which regulates the operation of foreign businesses in Indonesia.

Governor Ahok, according to Uber, laid out four simple requirements for ride-sharing companies to be accepted to operate in Jakarta. First, they must have a legal entity in Indonesia. Second, they must pay tax. Third, they must provide adequate insurance. And fourth, they must ensure partner vehicles undergo regular vehicle inspection.

Ahok’s green light for Uber in Jakarta will likely set a precedent for other Indonesian cities Uber operates in.

It’s relief for both passengers and Uber’s driver partners, who knew they were operating in a gray zone. Not long ago, Jakarta police stopped and arrested Uber drivers to send a message.

The notorious US-based ride-sharing company launched its UberX service in Jakarta in January this year. Then it went to Bandung and Bali soon after.


UberX rides are attractive to passengers because they’re significantly cheaper than taxi rides, and they are more comfortable, too. This worried taxi companies.

It’s been speculated that Jakarta police flexed their muscles against Uber on behalf of the taxi lobby. The most vocal voice in the opposition to Uber came from the Jakarta Organization of Land Transportation Owners, which represents large taxi companies like Blue Bird and Express.

Amid the controversy, Uber always maintained that it was in talks with the government, and that an agreement was within reach. Now, that day has come.

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