China's Ministry of Transportation proposed a new set of rules regarding ride-sharing and taxi services, aimed at balancing the Uber/Didi Kuaidi vs traditional taxi drivers struggle.
If enforced, the regulations may provide clarity for companies, but it might force them to change their business model and operate more like traditional taxi.
In a statement, an Uber China representative said the company is in “close communications with local regulators, and will proactively fit in the new norm of industry development, follow the spirit of the draft regulation, comply with all requirement, and continuously partner with local governments in implementing the new set of rules.”
A Didi Kuaidi spokesperson said “This draft of the proposed regulation is still at the stage of public consultation. We will give responsible feedback and recommendations to the authorities, after studying opinions and responses from experts, industry players, and most importantly passenger and driver communities.”
Published on the Ministry of Transport’s site on Saturday, the draft is open to public feedback for a month.
Among the more interesting propositions is one which says drivers are only allowed to use one app. This could spell trouble for Uber as Didi Kuaidi is seen as the more popular of the two, and drivers might be quick to choose that one.
While the Ministry of Transport’s draft regulations present new challenges for Didi Kuaidi and Uber, it may also solve some problems, including police investigations into the legality of Uber’s services.
Ride-sharing companies considered themselves tech platforms and not taxis, which is how they avoided same regulations. All of that might change soon.