A new rule has been introduced for taxi drivers in Beijing, as they can now only use one cab-hailing app on their smartphones in order to find customers. The city’s authorities have found that the distraction poses a threat to driving safety.
The regulation of the Beijing Transport Commission came into effect on February 20, 2014. The latest rule has been introduced days after China’s two internet giants – Tencent and Alibaba Group – started a price war in an attempt to attract customers to their online payment platforms. Alipay is the third largest online payment platform in China and is part of the Alibaba Group.
The group has invested significantly in the cab-hailing app KuaiDi and has also conducted a promotion of rewarding its customers with payment subsidies. The recent move has been made on the basis of a similar subsidy program by another cab-hailing app, called Didi, which got an investment from Tencent.
The transport commission has observed that cab drivers find these cab-hailing apps good and constantly indulge in checking messages to grab more customers. The new regulation states that each taxi is supposed to be linked to just one app. Cab drivers have to give the priority to driving safety before responding to smartphone messages.
Photo Credits: Global Times