The Guangzhou Transport Commission organized a meeting to collect feedback from the public on the new ride-hailing regulations on Tuesday, with only half of the invited attendees coming from the taxi industry.
The 19 attendees included representatives from China’s four largest ride-hailing services, Didi Chuxing, Uber, UCAR and Yidao Yongche; a private car driver; two industry experts and a public transport passenger. The Guangzhou Daily reports Private-car hailing service users were notably absent from the meeting.
Ride-hailing service representatives were reportedly not speaking openly about their feelings, instead they showed their approval for the new regulations.
Only Uber representative, Zheng Chengjun, expressed concern at the bulk resignation of part-time private car drivers and the technical difficulty of fulfilling a policy with drivers being limited to only one platform at a time. He asked the government to consider a market-regulated price instead of a government assigned one.
Taxi company representatives showed strong support for the new regulations. They talked about the importance of employment contracts between private car drivers and ride-hailing platforms, and also specific requirements for driver qualifications and vehicle conditions.
They complained about the subsidies offered by ride-hailing platforms describing them as “improper competition”, adding that private car drivers cause more traffic and accidents in Guangzhou.
The only private car driver at the hearing, expressed concern at the prospect of fewer subsidies from the platforms and a higher risk of getting arrested by law enforcement. He showed his support for the legalization of the ride-hailing business which will comfort private car drivers.
Internet users criticized the meeting as a showcase for the one-sidedness of the dialogue with the meeting almost complete lacking any passenger input.
“We’re very relevant to the issue,” a passenger told the Guangzhou Daily. “But when it’s time for public opinion to be heard, no one ever listens to us.”
Draft regulations for the ride-hailing business were launched last Saturday and are currently receiving submissions from the public, over the course of a month, before they expect to be finalized.
(Featured image from Tencent Tech)