Drivers wanting to operate their private cars as taxis can apply for Shanghai's car-hailing service qualifications, starting from yesterday.
The city government launched revised rules on car-hailing services last week, imposing high thresholds on drivers and vehicles seeking to enter the business.
Sixteen offices in the city will take applications. Applicants will receive the results of background checks after 20 working days. Approved applicants will be tested and must register their vehicles for business operations with local authorities.
"The whole process will take at least 50 working days or three months," driver Ju Jianping, 48, told Shanghai Daily.
"But with the higher threshold, there will be fewer vehicles in the business and maybe better pay."
Ju is a freelancer. He worked as a car-hailing driver in June and quit the business two weeks later as he was not making enough money.
"If the pay is still not good next year, I won't do it even if I achieve the qualification," he said.
Another applicant, surnamed Shui, 29, took on car-hailing as a moonlighting job.
"People might give up the service if they find it's harder to secure a ride, and turn to the Metro instead," Shui said. "But if it's getting better, I will upgrade my car later."
Most applicants are middle-aged local men, while Shui was the only young driver in the office in Huangpu District when Shanghai Daily visited yesterday.
Under the rules released last week, only drivers with Shanghai residency and vehicles with local car plates will qualify for the service. The driver's traffic violation records will also be taken into consideration.
The new rules take effect immediately and existing car-hailing drivers must apply to operate legally.
Didi Chuxing, the largest car-hailing platform in China, said it had about 410,000 drivers in Shanghai, but fewer than 10,000 of them have local residency.