The Shenzhen government formally declared some car-hailing app functions illegal yesterday, taking particular issue with private cars acting as taxis.
During a sit-down with Didi Dache, Uber and Yongche — the major companies running car-hailing apps — the government ordered them to change their business models by a certain date.
The date was not included in a government press release.
The public transportation subbureau of Shenzhen's public security bureau is also requiring app operators to file driver information with police.
According to regulations, private car drivers involved in taxi services can be fined 5,000 to 20,000 yuan (US$782 to US$3,130) and the vehicle could be impounded.
The city's transportation commission and public security bureau met with the major cab-app operators yesterday, formally saying that linking private drivers with customers is illegal.
In the press release from the transport commission, the commission's passenger transport administration said the current laws and regulations ban private cars from being involved in taxi services. If companies fail to "rectify" the issue, the administration will impose penalties on the operators.
"Solid evidence shows private cars are involved in taxi services through the platforms," the release from the commission said yesterday. The press release did not mention any specific evidence.
The commission said it will strengthen law enforcement of Internet-based vehicle reservation services. Those engaged in illegal taxi services will be punished. The administration said the city has started researching the city's taxi industry and will work out related regulations for Internet-based cab reservations.