Six Questions Online Car-hailing New Regulations

  Why is regulatory power decentralized?

  It is necessary to balance the interests of local taxis

  The new regulations mention that local governments can reasonably grasp the scale of taxi transportation capacity, and at the same time, guide prices for online car-hailing can be implemented. Why should the power to regulate transportation capacity and prices be delegated to local governments? Can local governments do a good job of control?

  Xu Kangming, a well-known transportation expert, believes that there are certain regulatory failures and market mechanism failures in the taxi industry, that is, if quantitative control is carried out, it is easy to form a solidification of interests. Releasing quantitative control and relying solely on the market to regulate supply may harm the interests of consumers in terms of service quality and taxi-hailing experience. Therefore, to formulate a reasonable capacity regulation method, the government must not only have a certain capacity control over the market, but also cannot form a solidification of interests as in the past. The flexibility of transportation capacity should be allowed to play out to balance the interests of consumers and taxi operators. Xu Kangming said that taxis provide personalized travel services, and their overall positioning is moderate development. The core of urban transportation is to vigorously develop public transportation. Especially in big cities like Beijing, the development of taxis cannot be simply encouraged. Places with high traffic congestion should be moderately developed, while places with insufficient public transportation development can be moderately liberalized.

  "Of course, this does not mean that small and medium-sized cities where traffic congestion contradictions are not obvious can liberalize the regulation of online car-hailing capacity." Xu Kangming said that in the past, the operation rights of taxis in many cities were auctioned, and the number of online car-hailing cars was completely liberalized. How to deal with the contradiction with the traditional taxi industry? In addition, although the number of traditional taxis in some cities is not much, the demand is not much. Under the stimulation of capital, these cities have also developed a large number of online car-hailing. There are certain contradictions in the development of new and old business models, and this contradiction is no less than that of big cities. There are many new situations in the development of online car-hailing. Many cities have certain weaknesses in terms of policy research and personnel management capabilities. How to manage and control needs to weigh Therefore, the formulation of implementation rules by local governments is the greatest challenge facing the implementation of policies.

  How can we ensure the implementation of the policy?

  There is a 3-month transition period for training and guidance.

  After the policy is issued, local governments should formulate implementation rules according to their own transportation development conditions, such as how to deal with contradictions with the traditional rental industry and manage online car-hailing. Considering the different policy implementation capabilities of local governments, the Ministry of Transport will give a three-month transition period. The Ministry of Transport will organize training for the taxi industry authorities at the provincial and prefecture levels across the country to interpret the guiding ideology, principles and key points of policy implementation and guide the reform of the rental industry in various places.

  At the same time, provincial authorities will also formulate corresponding implementation plans and urge local governments to implement them, forming a reform system with the joint role of ministries, provinces, prefectures and cities. In addition, the Ministry of Communications will establish an expert committee to provide guidance and assistance for provincial and local governments to formulate implementation rules.

  Wang Hao, deputy director of the Development Center of the Highway Science Research Institute of the Ministry of Transport, said that when formulating implementation rules, localities should first grasp the current development status of urban traditional taxis and online taxis, and grasp the positioning of taxis in the entire passenger transportation system from a global perspective. Under the premise of grasping the overall situation, the classification formulates a reform plan for traditional taxis and online taxis, and clarifies the operation rights, price mechanism, and capacity scale of the traditional taxi industry. In addition, there must be an implementation plan for the formulation of new business vehicle and personnel standards, and finally realize the integrated development of online taxis and traditional taxis.

  Can drivers work across the country?

  Although it is popular nationwide, it is under local management

  According to the requirements of the new regulations, when an online car-hailing platform applies for an online license, it can be accessed by the whole network after filing in a provincial city, but it involves offline vehicle and personnel management. It should also apply to the corresponding taxi administrative department in the place where the enterprise is registered.

  Zhu Wei, an associate professor at China University of Political Science and Law, believes that the "tax registration certificate" requirement has been deleted from the application materials submitted by the online car-hailing platform, and the review period has been reduced from 30 days to 20 days after the exposure draft, which simplifies the difficulty of the platform application. However, the issuing authority is still the "municipal or county-level taxi administrative department divided into districts". There are more than 2,000 counties in the country, and the application of the platform is still not small.

  Wang Hao believes that the operation of online taxi booking has a certain regional nature, the online part can be passed nationwide, and local vehicle standards need to be formulated, and the vehicles and employees connected to the platform need to be supervised, which needs to be completed by the local rental authority, and it is difficult for the provincial authorities to complete such work. Therefore, the "two-level work, one-level licensing" model launched by the Ministry of Transport not only optimizes unnecessary licensing procedures and adapts to the characteristics of the network platform, but also retains the supervision and management rights that local governments should implement.

  4 New regulations reflect the sharing economy?

  There is a difference between profitable behavior and sharing

  The new regulations provide a legalized way for part-time drivers to engage in online ride-hailing services. Some experts believe that part-time drivers engage in online ride-hailing services during commuting hours, mobilizing idle social resources and providing citizens with more convenient travel services, which is a manifestation of the sharing economy.

  However, some experts say that allowing part-time drivers to enter the online car-hailing field through licensing is a qualification requirement that the taxi industry should meet, and it is also an industry management requirement to avoid damage to consumer rights and safety. However, this is different from the concept of the sharing economy. When part-time drivers operate occasionally, it is still a profitable behavior, which is different from the pure sharing economy.

  Wang Hao believes that the new regulations fully reflect the concept of the sharing economy, encourage the development of hitchhiking, and make full use of resources through sharing. However, hitchhiking should be more of a public welfare behavior, and charging high fees for hitchhiking is actually a way to circumvent supervision and operate under the banner of hitchhiking. The next step is for local governments to issue corresponding implementation rules for the operation of hitchhiking.

  Will the number of online rides increase sharply?

  It is necessary to consider whether the income can offset the cost

  The exposure draft mentions that drivers who engage in online car-hailing need to sign an employment contract with the online car-hailing operator. The new regulations no longer require both parties to sign a fixed employment contract, but only need to sign various forms of employment contracts or agreements according to the working hours and service frequency. In addition, the regulation that operating vehicles must be scrapped for 8 years has also been revised. Does this mean that part-time drivers can start online car-hailing without worry, and more part-time drivers will appear?

  Wang Hao believes that the use of private cars for online car-hailing operations requires changing the nature of the vehicle to booking a taxi, which can be changed according to local requirements. This road is smooth, but for vehicle owners, it is necessary to comprehensively consider changes in vehicle insurance and scrapping, and whether income can offset cost changes. Engaging in online car-hailing services requires comprehensive consideration.

  Can passengers pick up bargains again?

  Measures will be taken to avoid excessive subsidies

  In the past two years, online car-hailing platforms have used a large number of subsidies and ultra-low prices to seize the market, making the development of online car-hailing enter a state of disorderly competition. The new regulations require online car-hailing platform companies not to crowd out competitors or monopolize the market, and operate at prices below cost to disrupt the normal market order.

  Wang Hao believes that the current online car-hailing low-price competition is unsustainable, and the introduction of new regulations is conducive to standardizing the business behavior of online car-hailing platform companies, maintaining a fair competition environment in the market, and protecting fair competition among market participants. It is of positive significance for promoting the return of online car-hailing prices to a reasonable level and realizing the healthy and sustainable development of the travel market.

  However, as the domestic laws on anti-dumping are not yet perfect, it is difficult to say whether the state of burning money will end in a short period of time. At present, the main way to minimize low-price dumping by enterprises is through joint interviews with multiple ministries and commissions, and in the near future, subsidies for online car-hailing platforms have been greatly reduced. The next step may be for the industry and commerce department to take measures to avoid unfair competition and excessive subsidies. Of course, as soon as possible to improve the relevant domestic laws, in order to fundamentally solve the problem of low-price dumping. The Beijing Times reporter noticed that the provisions of market incentives and promotions announced to the public ten days in advance in the exposure draft were deleted. Wang Hao mentioned that the deletion of this part is mainly to consider the practical operation of the policy, and also to accept the corresponding opinions of enterprises.

  Beijing Times reporter Huang Hailei