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BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday that it would launch a pilot program in five cities to provide subsidies to buyers of electric and hybrid cars, as the government steps up efforts to cut emissions in the world's biggest auto market.

Residents of Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as Hangzhou and Hefei in the east of the country and Changchun in the northeast, would receive up to 50,000 yuan ($7,320) in subsidies if they buy plug-in hybrid cars, the Ministry of Finance said on its website.

The maximum subsidy for those who bought fully electric cars was 60,000 yuan, the ministry said.

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