It’s probably going to get harder to find a ride in Beijing in these days.
Last December, the city authorities announced restrictions on drivers for car-hailing apps like Didi Chuxing, which finally came into effect on Saturday. There were two key aspects of the measures which really affected the companies—firstly, they had to register their presence with the government and receive approval to operate. Secondly, and this was the big one, drivers had to have a local license plate and a local household registration, or hukou.
This effectively wipes out the possibility of migrant drivers joining the service, and frankly, they’re more likely to be the ones who need the work, given that household registration barriers already exist in the regular taxi industry and plethoras of other fields.
On the other hand, Beijing local drivers will now face dramatically reduced competition. This poses quite the challenge for the companies themselves, who will now struggle to recruit enough drivers.
So if you’re having a hard time getting a ride, well, you know why. At least, theoretically, the drivers should be screened a bit more now, so maybe that’s a good thing?
CGTN has a video on the new restrictions here.
Cover image from Xinhua