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Opinion

Ride-hailing insanity shows Japan is right to shun startups

Investors are starting to notice that losses show no sign of easing

| Japan
A cab bearing an Uber taxi logo in Tokyo in July 2020: Japan only recently allowed Uber to work through taxi companies. (Photo by Masashi Isawa)

Jeffrey Funk is a technology consultant and a former professor at Hitotsubashi University. Adam Acar is a freelance researcher, adviser of Japan Team Building at Maikoya Kyoto and a former professor at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.

While the world experimented with ride-hailing services from Uber Technologies, Lyft, Grab, Didi Global and Ola, Japan resisted, only recently allowing Uber to work through taxi companies. The huge losses for these ride-hailing services suggest that Japan's decision may have been the right one.

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