5/20/2015

Chinese to Lift Ban on Car-Sharing Apps in Shanghai

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A nationwide ban on Uber-like private-car hailing services in China will be lifted in Shanghai in June, Bloomberg News reports.

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A nationwide ban on Uber-like private-car hailing services in China will be lifted in Shanghai in June, Bloomberg News reports.

The current ban, which was imposed by the Ministry of Transport in January, prohibits the use of smartphone apps to hail private cars operated by drivers who don't hold a taxi license.

The ministry approves of apps to summon taxis. But it said a ban on using such tools to arrange rides with independent drivers would "put passengers at ease."

The new policy in Shanghai will be first tested by car-hailing app rivals Didi Taxi and Kuaidi One, who merged in February. Their drivers will be registered under the same data platform used to hail licensed taxis.

Analysts have estimated 150 million Chinese arrange for conventional taxis by using smartphone apps. But Didi/Kuaidi's independent operators have been fined for plying their trade in Beijing and other cities.