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Business

Japan policy remains grounded as sharing economy takes off

Hamstrung domestic startups are frustrated by snail's pace of regulatory reforms

In Indonesia, a motorcycle-sharing startup is taking the market by storm, boosting the earnings of motorbike taxis like this one in Jakarta.

JAKARTA/TOKYO -- Jakarta's traffic-clogged streets aren't exactly lined with gold, but they are becoming a healthy source of revenue for drivers of motorbike taxis as Indonesia's sharing economy takes off.

One driver has seen his monthly income rise 50% in about 18 months since he quit chauffeuring for a wealthy family and started his own motorbike taxi. He is one of roughly 250,000 drivers in the city working with startup Go-Jek, a ride-hailing service for motorbike taxis. The company's formidable army of drivers has been steadily chipping away at Blue Bird, the nation's largest traditional taxi service that boasts a fleet of 30,000 vehicles.

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