BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Beijing is ready to kick off its first ever car license plates lottery, to be broadcast live both on TV and over the Internet on Jan. 26, said officials with the allotment office Saturday.
A total of 17,600 car license plates will be allocated to qualified individual applicants through the lottery, in keeping with the principles of openness, fairness and equity, according to the office.
Validation for the first batch of 210,178 individual applicants has been completed, and the office will make public the results, as well as lottery time and rules, on Tuesday.
Applicants can check out the validation information at bjhjyd.gov.cn.
The first group of car license plates for institution and company applicants will also be allocated through the lottery on the same day.
The Beijing municipal government put in place the lottery mechanism at the end of last year in an effort to curb the capital city's fast growth of automobiles, which resulted in worsening traffic jams.
The new mechanism seeks to reduce new car registrations by allowing only 240,000 in 2011, or about one-third of new cars registered in 2010.
Data from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT) shows there were only 78,000 cars in Beijing in 1978 and 200,000 in 1985.
However, the number of cars soared after the country entered the 21st century amid fast economic growth and urbanization.
Within 13 years, the number of cars in Beijing more than quadrupled to 4.76 million in 2010 from 1 million in 1997, according to the BMCT.