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Uber launches Shanghai branch, plans to invest $1b in China

Following raids on Uber offices and the banning of Uber services in multiple Chinese cities, the company is set to increase investment and apply for a government licence as soon as possible.

Controversial American transportation company Uber has announced it has formally launched its Shanghai branch, and said that it would further beef up investment in the country to almost $1 billion in the future, according to a Tencent report on Thursday.

During the next 12 months, Uber plans to not only expand its current foothold of 21 cites to as many as 100 across China, but also develop more innovative transportation apps based on local needs, the report said.

The latest Shanghai branch will be added to a line of companies owned by Uber that are already operating, two of which are headed by Liu Zhen, the company's highest-ranking local director.

Liu said that while the Chinese transportation authority is in the process of regulating the online taxi-hailing industry, Uber China is communicating with the government and preparing to apply for a legitimate operating licence as soon as the new regulation becomes effective.

The Shanghai Wu Bo Information Technology Company Limited, established in the Chinese metropolitan's experimental free trade district in January 2015, has a registered value of 2.1 billion yuan.

According to the national enterprise database, the company is solely owned by Uber Hong Kong.