A total of 37 taxi companies in Jinan, Shandong province issued a joint statement telling cab drivers across the city to stop using taxi-hailing apps, which they say have had an adverse effect on the market.
The taxi companies issued the order through text messages sent out to over 8,000 cab drivers on Saturday, SCMP reports, citing the Jinan Times.
“The apps have seriously affected the income of taxi drivers as well as traffic safety. We call on all drivers to uninstall the car-hailing apps from May 30,” the message said. The firms will continue sending the message to drivers three times a day for three days via GPS communication devices and WeChat, according to the report.
The companies will also carry out inspections and penalise drivers who do not uninstall the apps.
Taxi drivers in China have previously taken to the streets to protest cab-booking apps, which have surged in popularity in recent years. In January, thousands of cabbies in Chengdu, Changchun, Jinan, Nanjing and Shenyang went on strike to voice complaints over the proliferation of car-rental drivers using the apps to provide unlicensed taxi services for cheaper.
Authorities in Luyoang, Henan province recently shut down offices of recently merged Kuaidi and Didi Dache after protests held by taxi drivers. Uber, the popular US-based booking app, has also been targeted. Just over a month ago, local authorities ordered raids on Guangzhou- and Chengdu-based Uber offices, only for the former city to announce the development of its own government-backed taxi-hailing app days later.
Shanghai and Beijing have both introduced bans on taxi-hailing apps during rush hour, but they still remain a nuisance to some. Last year, a Shanghai man took matters to court after he was denied service because a cabbie was waiting on another customer who’d booked through an app.
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