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MOT bans private cars from limo service

01/09/2015| 4:03:10 PM| ChinaTravelNews 中文

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has given the green light to chauffeur service offered by taxi apps but prohibits private cars from taking part in the service.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has given the green light to chauffeur service offered by taxi apps but prohibits private cars from taking part in the service.

The MOT has been closely following chauffeur service and encourages innovation of car hire concepts but works to end illegal operations that run counter to consumer interests and fair market competition.

It will continue to investigate the development of chauffeur service and effectively use regulations to introduce the right level of competition in the market by various means, to ensure optimal transportation service for the general public. Market force regulation of resource allocation will be the guiding principle in industry supervision.

Beijing Transport Law Enforcement Corps (BTLEC) spokesman Jianwei Liang told media on January 7 that all limousines impounded in its crackdown on illegal taxi operations are privately operated.

He said the car rental companies offering hired vehicles and driver service on taxi app platforms weren’t deemed as illegal.

One observer said the ambivalence of the traffic authority shows they want to promote entrepreneurship and regulate the operations at the same time by allowing only bona fide car rental companies to offer the service. 

The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau has ordered chauffeur services to exclude private vehicles in its car pools last August. But Yongche and Didi Taxi have flouted the guideline allowing private car owners to join by simply filling out a few forms and signing a contract (without background checks) directly with the platforms’ specified companies.

Currently, chauffeur service operators generally build their fleets with the vehicles of regular car rental companies and private car owners as associates. The latter has inherent legal risks and does not protect customer rights but it saves on cost and manpower. As regulations are clarified, chauffeur services will soon have to cut ties with private cars.(Translation by David)

TAGS: chauffuer | taxi app | transport
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