20 September 2019
Taxi booking through mobile apps is popular in Beijing, Photo: Beijing
Taxi booking through mobile apps is popular in Beijing, Photo: Beijing

Private cars barred from hire through app booking in Beijing

Beijing on Wednesday issued new rules to regulate the booking of taxis by mobile apps, a move that could hurt some service providers, Beijing News reported Thursday.

Operators providing car services are required to follow new regulations on top of existing ones, the city’s transport authority said.

They are told to keep detailed information regarding service users’ true identity and purpose of car rental. If the purpose of hire is against rules, operators are banned from providing the service.

If companies find, or are notified by the authority, that their cars have been used for illegal purposes, they are required to stop proving service for one year.

As more and more people in Beijing switch to mobile platforms to hire cabs, some local operators have built their own platforms, and attracted a number of private car owners to join their service.

According to regulations, only the cars owned by service operators can be used for hire while all the others will be perceived as illegal.

The new rules could help regulate the cab-hailing market in Beijing better. But the government should consider the fact that there are only about 20,000 cars registered for rental in the city and this is not enough to meet demand, an expert said.

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