Didi, Kuaidi Dache Luoyang offices raided by authorities

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2015-5-14 0:03:02

The operations of taxi-hailing service Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache have not been affected after local authorities reportedly raided the company's offices on Tuesday in Luoyang, Central China's Henan Province, Kuaidi's PR told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The local administration for industry and commerce (AIC) took away documents and computers from Didi and Kuaidi's offices in Luoyang, which were later shut down, news portal caijing.com.cn reported on late Tuesday.

Didi and Kuaidi, backed by China's Internet giants Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding respectively, merged in a $6 billion deal on February 14.

The merged company, known as Didi and Kuaidi, is seen as the major rival to US-based car service firm Uber in China.

Taxi drivers in Luoyang were ordered to uninstall Didi and Kuaidi apps a few months ago as part of attempts to crack down on illegal operators such as private car owners offering taxi services via the taxi-hailing app, news portal sina.com.cn reported on Tuesday.

The local authorities did not explain why Didi and Kuadi's offices were shut down, according to media reports. The local AIC could not be reached for comment by press time. 

"It was a routine inspection, which won't have any impact on the company's business in other cities," the company's PR staff, who declined to be named, told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that Didi and Kuaidi's service are still available in Luoyang.  

The raid in Luoyang was preceded by protests by local taxi drivers outside Didi's and Kuaidi's offices on Tuesday afternoon, noted the PR staff.

He also said that not every taxi driver in Luoyang had unloaded the apps after the ban, angering those who had done so and causing them to protest.

The taxi-hailing service app has been under pressure since it entered Henan Province, because the Luoyang government has released more regulations on taxi services compared to other regions, a person close to the matter and who asked to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Transport banned private cars from providing taxi services by using taxi-hailing apps, Xinhua News Agency reported in January.

The ministry has also ordered app developers to ensure that all vehicles are owned by taxi or car rental companies to ensure passengers' safety, according to the report.

In addition to Didi and Kuaidi, Uber had its offices raided on Saturday in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. 

Still, some cities like Yiwu, in East China's Zhejiang Province, are encouraging the introduction of taxi-hailing services apps among taxi companies, Hangzhou-based newspaper Dushi Kuaibao reported on Wednesday.

Under the new taxi industry reform guideline released by the local authorities on May 7, 100 new cabs will be added in Yiwu while the vehicle fee paid by drivers to their companies will be reduced in 2015 in order to improve taxi services.

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