Most cars, drivers will be ineligible
Beijing and Shanghai have published detailed rules on online car-booking services, requiring private car drivers offering car-hailing services to have city household registrations and city license plates.
The detailed rules of the two cities follow a period of soliciting public opinion after draft regulations were published on October 8.
The Beijing rules require services to be offered by Beijing-registered vehicles and residents, according to a guideline posted on the website of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport on Wednesday. Shanghai has a similar rule. These rules mean that the vast majority of drivers or vehicles currently offering such services will become ineligible.
The Beijing municipal government said that its rules take the capital's population, air quality, traffic jams and public transport facilities into consideration.
The Beijing traffic authority requires sedans offering online-booking services to have an engine displacement of more than 1.8 liters and a wheelbase longer than 265 centimeters, in an effort to differentiate those offering online-booking services from traditional taxis.
Online car-hailing platform Didi Chuxing said on Wednesday that it is encouraged by improvements in new local ride-sharing rules announced in Beijing and Shanghai.
Compared with the first proposed drafts, these rules are a significant step toward a more sensible and liberal framework, reflecting input from the public consultation period, the company said in a statement e-mailed to the Global Times on Wednesday.
"For instance, Beijing will introduce a five-month transition period. Shanghai lowered the wheelbase requirement from 270 centimeters to 260 centimeters, and scrapped the initial proposal for emission floors. All these will enable ride-sharing platforms to have adequate time to adapt," it said.
The company said it looks forward to other localities in the country being more responsive to public opinion and announcing rules that suit local conditions.
More than 17 million flexible work and income opportunities were provided in 2016 on its ride-sharing platform, where more than 2.07 million Didi and Uber China drivers make on average 160 yuan () every day, Didi said.
China legalized online car-booking services in November 1, but left it to local authorities to impose eligibility requirements on service providers.
"The final rules in Beijing and Shanghai are roughly the same with the draft rules seeking public input. The rules, with other localities' regulations to be issued soon, will pose no substantial adverse effect on our business," car leasing company CAR Inc said in a statement e-mailed to the Global Times on Wednesday.
Unlike Didi Chuxing, companies such as CAR Inc do not rely on private cars to offer their services.
However, the company said the requirement to have Beijing and Shanghai local drivers as service providers will slightly increase its cost in salaries.
Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, also posted its rule on Wednesday, requiring drivers to have local household registration or a resident permit.