Beijing to crack down on taxi-booking app abuse

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-8 0:33:01

A Chinese mobile phone user uses the taxi-booking app Didi Dache on his smartphone in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on February 19. Photo: IC

Beijing will crack down on private cars this year using taxi-booking software to take passengers, local authorities announced Wednesday.

Private cars operating as taxis by using these apps is considered illegal. It has seriously affected taxi operations in Beijing, according to a press release of the Beijing Transport Law Enforcement Corps.

"We will focus on inspecting illegal taxis using software such as Didi Zhuanche and Yidao Yongche, and stiff penalties will be imposed on those found guilty," it read.

An illegal driver had been reportedly fined 20,000 yuan ($3,221) and had his car confiscated when he was caught using such software to take passengers at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday.

In 2014, several taxi-booking software and car rental companies launched a new service allowing passengers to choose other types of cars rather than taxis only.

But some software and car-rental companies do not strictly check the driver's qualifications, allowing private car owners to take advantage of the software under the name of registered cars for rent, a transport law enforcement officer was quoted as saying by the Beijing Youth Daily.

Ye Yun, a media officer of taxi-booking app company Kuaidi Dache, told the Global Times that the company only deals with legal car rental companies. "It is the job of those companies to ensure their cars do not belong to private individuals," Ye said.

Other cities like Shanghai have also come down on private cars using the taxi-booking applications.

Software companies that violate the rules could be fined up to 100,000 yuan. 

Local transport authorities in Chongqing also pledged to crack down on illegal taxis taking advantage of taxi-booking software in December 2014, after they received information on a group of private car owners being taught how to use the taxi app of US car-hiring firm Uber for their illegal taxi business. 

Of the 20 private car owners who were trained to become illegal taxi operators, one was identified as an ex-convict with a criminal record of robbery, reported the 21st Century Business Herald.

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus