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Uber's app no longer works in China

Travelers will have to download a separate Uber China app.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
November 28, 2016
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Zhang Peng / LightRocket via Getty

Uber has parted ways with its Chinese subsidiary, which is going to prove problematic for tourists looking to hail a ride in the Middle Kingdom. As part of the deal that saw Uber China merge with Didi Chuxing, the global Uber app has been disentangled from its localized Chinese form. Instead, users will now need to download and install a dedicated Uber China app, but that's not the hardest part.

For a start, the new Uber China app is only available in Mandarin, rendering those who can't read the language helpless. Then there's the fact that you have to set up a new account that's linked to a local phone number and a local payments card. That means that you'll need to have a cellular contract and access to Union Pay or Baidu Wallet before you can start getting around.

We've been expecting this separation for a while, and the move was originally expected to arrive at the start of November. Uber China has already told TechCrunch that the app will regain "international features" and support for other languages in the future, but offered no timeline. Although you can still currently use the Lyft app to access Didi's service while in the country, oh the irony.

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