China crackdown closes taxi-calling apps

14 May 2015 by Clement Huang

Using apps to dial for taxis in China may soon be a thing of the past as reports emerged that local authorities have widened their crackdown against taxi-hailing services.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that two homegrown firms offering taxi-hailing services were raided by law enforcement officers, following a similar crackdown against the China offices of US firm Uber in the past two weeks.

The report states that the Luoyang offices of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache – two of China’s leading taxi-calling apps – have been forcibly shut down.

Both companies had merged into a combined entity earlier this year, said the report, creating one of the world’s largest smartphone-based transport services with a valuation of US$6 billion.

According to the SCMP, the ban against taxi-hailing apps was initially influenced by taxi drivers who complained that drivers with no taxi licences were siphoning business away from them.
While the use of such apps continues to be widespread in China, so is the opposition, says the newspaper. Taxi drivers from multiple Chinese cities went on strike in January this year, to protest against the taxi-calling mobile applications.

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