China’s ride-hailing rules come into effect

China’s “preliminary rules on the management of online car-booking” officially come into effect on Tuesday November 1st, after they were first proposed in late July.

The rules have officially defined ride-hailing as a taxi-related businesses. The Ministry of Transportation, together with six other government ministries, including the Ministry of Public Security and the Cyberspace Administration of China, co-published the rules.

Detailed requirements for private car are listed in the rules, including number of seats, passenger safety support, and an age and mileage limit.

The rules requested additional conditions of the drivers: over three-year driving experience, and no history of crimes or dangerous driving behavior. More than that, they were asked to meet extra eligibility requirements set by their local governments.

However, for ride-hailing cars who must now be licensed at local taxi administration departments, local regulations seem to be a headache, not a cure, for a large number of ride-hailing drivers.

According to Sina Tech, 20 cities or municipalities have introduced their own local rules for ride-hailing management. Among which Beijing and Shanghai require ride-hailing drivers to have local hukou (local residency) and local car plates.

Industry analysts warned that measures like this will push many drivers away from this market.

Large ride-hailing apps including Didi Chuxing have responded to the new ride hailing rules. Also on Tuesday, Didi posted a statement revealing that it has been in discussion with local authorities during the finalization of the new rules toward a more fair play for ride-hailing drivers and more safety for passengers.

“As cities start to formalize the implementation of the regulations, we are pleased to note substantive improvements on original drafts as a result of the consultative process,” Didi wrote in the statement. ” In the new regulatory context, DiDi will be able to work closely with the authorities to attain higher safety and quality standards with more effective management practices.”

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