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Kakao to roll out ride services in Japan and Southeast Asia

South Korean internet company also keen to buy self-driving startups

Kakao Mobility CEO John Chung explains the company's expansion drive in Seoul on March 13. (Photo courtesy of Kakao)

SEOUL -- Kakao is expanding its transportation services to Japan and Southeast Asia, as the South Korean internet company runs into regulatory obstacles in its home market. 

John Chung, CEO of Kakao Mobility, said South Korean tourists will soon be able to hail taxis through partner Japan Taxi, which has a network of 60,000 cabs. The tie-up service is to start in the second half of this year. 

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