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Shenzhen Bans Cab-Hailing Mobile App
Summary:Mobile apps connecting passengers and taxi drivers that making hailing a cab more efficient are becoming popular in many cities. But they’ve been halted in Shenzhen by the local transport authority.


May 22, 2013

Translated by Zhu Na

Shenzhen’s transportation authority has barred taxi drivers from using software that allows passengers to summon them through mobile phone apps. Those who have already installed the software must remove it, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

A driver surnamed Wu said that he didn’t use the software very often, but he felt it was useful. “As long as there are passengers wanting a taxi, we can get orders,” he said. “It’s convenient for passengers and also for me.”

Passengers are equally disappointed. A Shenzhen salesman surnamed Xu said he doesn’t understand why the software was stopped. “What a pity,” he said. “Why did the government stop it? Why don’t they take ordinary people’s needs into consideration?”

The ban has hit companies providing the services hard. A Southern Metropolis Daily reporter talked with a technology company in Beijing that says more than 4,000 drivers in Shenzhen use their taxi-hailing software. But after already doing significant promotion work in the city, the company has now received a notice from the Shenzhen Department of Transport to stop promoting the service. “Now it was all in vain,” the company head said. “We can’t really do anything about it.”

The company head said that the software has been developing very well in Beijing and Shanghai under supportive local governments. In those cities, the governments have even come to them to cooperate. He doesn’t understand why Shenzhen suddenly banned the software. 

“Mobile phone software for getting a taxi is a new thing,” he said. “The facts have proven that it meets market demands. We hope the government can hold a more open and tolerant attitude toward these new things.” 

The reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily contacted the Shenzhen Department of Transport to find out why the ban was instituted, but no reply has yet been given.

From the notice that was issued, it appears the transport authority believes that there’s controversy around the software and that it presents supervision issues. It also seems to worry that the software will bring instability to the taxi industry and cause drivers to refuse passengers trying to hail a cab the traditional way.

Links & Sources
Southern Metropolis Daily - 深圳勒令的哥删除手机打车软件



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