Beijing and Shanghai ponder driver restrictions for Uber, Didi Chuxing etc

Beijing and Shanghai ponder driver restrictions for Uber, Didi Chuxing etc
A mascot of Didi Chuxing at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – Regulators in Beijing and Shanghai are proposing restrictions on who can operate as drivers for ride-hailing services such as Didi Chuxing and Uber, possibly making it tougher for those services to recruit drivers.

Authorities in Beijing and Shanghai – the transport commissions of the municipal governments of Beijing and Shanghai – separately issued draft policies on Saturday as part of an effort to seek public comment. Both commissions posted draft policies on their respective website.

It was not clear whether the moves were coordinated.

According to the draft regulations, in Beijing the city’s transport commission is proposing to require individuals driving for ride-hailing services to have local household registration, banning migrant workers from outside the mega-cities to operate cars for those services.

The city also wants those drivers to operate only locally registered vehicles, among other requirements such as age limits for drivers. Shanghai’s transport commission is proposing almost identical draft regulations.

Didi Chuxing said on Saturday the proposed restrictions would help double fares for rides offered by the company in Beijing and Shanghai. Its response was posted on the company’s official account on Weibo, a Twitter-like messaging service popular in China.

Didi Chuxing in a statement said those new restrictions would result in a “significant decrease in the number of rideshare drivers”.

That would combine with other restrictions proposed to “double” rideshare costs for hundreds of millions of users in Shanghai and Beijing, it said in the statement.

(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; editing by Mark Heinrich and Stephen Powell)

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