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Uber gets caught up in China’s taxi-driver war

Discussion in 'Beijing' started by Dreamer, May 18, 2015.

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  1. Dreamer

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    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2015
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    Cabbies reportedly get violent with app companies and users, but analysts say Uber still has a shot at success

    After enjoying some initial success in China, Uber is now finding itself caught in the middle of regulatory storm and a sometimes violent war between taxicab drivers and companies making not just ride-sharing apps, but even apps that help users hail traditional taxis.

    Last week in the central Chinese city of Luoyang, a group of angry taxi drivers laid siege to the local offices of Didi Kuaidi, the company born of the recent merger of China’s two largest taxi-hailing apps, the Beijing News reported, quoting Luoyang regulators.

    The police were forced to intervene, and a separate report from Caijing Magazine quoted sources from Didi Kuaidi as saying the city had shut down their Luoyang office.

    Assuming the Caijing account is correct, it wouldn’t be the first time the city had come down in favor of the taxi drivers and the government-owned companies they drive for — back in March, Luoyang suspended the use of taxi-hailing apps there, with the Beijing News citing a local official as saying such services “disturb the normal market order.”

    The cab drivers’ complaint is that the use of such apps circumvents their dispatchers, allowing those drivers who secretly work with the app to steal fares from those drivers who don’t. The Luoyang drivers have called for all local cabbies to boycott Didi Kuaidi and similar services.

    The drivers cite their struggle with the high monthly license fees they must pay to the taxi companies, are they have reportedly been venting their anger through labor strikes, blocking road traffic, and even assaulting other taxi drivers or vandalizing their cars if they refuse to join the protests or if they work with the controversial apps.

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