Opinion / Opinion Line

Regulating of car-hailing services needs to be done in the right way

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-12 08:27

Regulating of car-hailing services needs to be done in the right way

A customer checks his smartphone app that eases finding a taxi. [Photo/China Daily]

China's ministry of transport on Saturday disclosed its draft regulations on car-hailing services. According to the draft rules, the companies, such as Didi Kuaidi and Uber, will hold the major responsibility for any disputes or accidents during operation. Vehicles for non-commercial use will be banned from offering such services. Comments:

In fact, by regulating the standard of vehicles hailed online and their drivers, the draft regulations are primarily concerned with passengers' safety. Basically, the draft recognizes the positive role of Internet-based car-booking to provide high-end services, and is poised to make it a legal business. But the service providers' responsibilities have to be made clear in terms of disputes and accidents.

Wang Limei, secretary-general of the China Road Transport Association,, Oct 10

Given the embedded conservative managerial mentality, the Ministry of Transport's new draft is likely to cause a regression in the emerging "Internet Plus" initiative, instead of regulating the online taxi-hailing services. Up to a point, it aims to place the nontraditional taxis under traditional management, and force their operators to apply for local administrative licensing, when no relevant laws and administrative regulations are available.

Zhu Wei, an associate professor in communications law at the China University of Political Science and Law, Oct 10

Taking the third-party information platforms, which do not directly provide the taxi-booking services as traditional operators, the Ministry of Transport's newly released draft not only ignores some basic facts, it also goes against the prevailing division of labor in the industry. The draft is hardly in line with the demand for streamlined and decentralized administration should it require all car-hailing service providers to apply for local licensing in every city in which they operate.

Fu Weigang, a researcher with the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law,, Oct 10

The new draft regulations on car-hailing services deserve no praise, because they fail to meet the increasing demand for a shared economy, which can significantly reduce social costs by breaking the boundaries between private and public resources. The transportation authorities should innovate their management to cooperate with the car-hailing service providers.

Wang Junxiu, a researcher at the China Information Economics Society,, Oct 10

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