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Beijing regulates cabbies' use of taxi-hailing apps

English.news.cn   2014-02-20 16:29:40

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Beijing taxi drivers are now limited to using only one cab-hailing app on their smartphones to find customers, as authorities ruled the distraction is a threat to driving safety.

The Beijing transport commission's regulation, which entered effect on Thursday, came days after China's two Internet giants, Alibaba Group and Tencent, launched a price war to woo customers to their online payment platforms.

Alipay, the country's largest third-party online payment platform and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, has invested heavily in its cab-hailing app KuaiDi on a promotion of rewarding customers with payment subsidies. The move came on the heels of a similar subsidy program by cab-hailing app Didi, with investment from Tencent.

The transport commission has found that many taxi drivers are already fans of the cab-hailing apps, and are keen on checking messages to grab more cab calls.

Under the new regulation, however, each taxi is only allowed to be linked with one cab-hailing app. Cab drivers should prioritize driving safety before responding to smartphone messages.

The commission said it will team up with Beijing's transport law enforcement corps to enforce the regulation.

Editor: An
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