For drivers who want to provide car-hailing services in Beijing and Guangzhou, simply knowing the roads is not enough. Knowing a little bit of a foreign language is also a must.
Beijing's transport authorities started receiving qualification applications from drivers who want to provide car-hailing services through an online platform on Thursday.
To be qualified, a driver is required to sit a test that includes English listening questions, reported Beijing Daily. Test-sitters need to grasp 26 sentences of daily conversation, such as "please take your invoice" and "this is my pleasure".
Besides English, the test also includes other knowledge, such as road traffic rules and norms of conduct for online car-hailing services.
Similar rules are also seen Guangzhou. Drivers in the city are required to know basic English skills and the local dialect, Cantonese, as well as local history and customs.
The content of the qualification tests drew a wave of criticism from netizens.
A web user with the name Moriyama_Xiaodaozi teased on China's twitter-like service Sina Weibo: "Why not add politics into the test too?"
Another netizen called Shisanzhen Jiedushi said: "I found a new business opportunity – test training for drivers that want to provide online car-hailing service."
Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou issued rules on car-hailing services this week to regulate the industry and improve city traffic.
The rules put tighter restrictions on cars and drivers providing car-hailing services. Drivers need to hold a local household registration in Beijing and Shanghai, and the car needs to be registered locally in all three cities.
The moves came after the country gave legal status to car-hailing services in July.