Apps such as Hailo and Uber that operate on mobile devices and assist passengers to book taxis in Shanghai are facing more scrutiny in one of China's largest cities.
According to Chinese media reports, these types of third-party apps have led to disputes and are potentially dangerous as cabbies spend too much time looking at their smartphones rather than watching the road. To help both passengers and the taxi industry, new taxi booking service management regulations will soon be released.
These regulations will reportedly not necessarily ban the taxi apps, but they will make the app developers route passenger queries via established taxi company dispatch offices. This may nullify the type of bidding that makes some of these taxi apps so popular with users, and may quash the business hopes of companies like Hailo and Uber to come into the Chinese market.
In other Chinese cities, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport and Shenzhen city authorities have both voiced concerns in recent months about the negative impact these apps have on either safety or the current taxi companies' business.