In light of the recent raid on Guangzhou’s Uber offices, the local government will soon launch a new government-owned system for online taxi booking.
According to a report by the Nanfang Daily, the new taxi-booking platform, called Ruyue (meaning ‘appointment on time’), will be headed by the Guangzhou transportation authority – the same group behind the Guangzhou Uber office raids.
Based on numerous reports, the government-backed platform will, essentially, be a clone of Uber.
The fundamental difference between Uber and Ruyue is the latter will go through a local government approval system, so that it's appropriately licensed to transport the fine people of Guangzhou, according to Nanfang Daily, quoting officials from the transport authority of Guangzhou.
The major issue, as cited by numerous observers, is that a government-run app is unlikely to match its competitors and will run a monopoly on the car-for-hire market in the city.
Although the service will be rendered ‘safe’ by Guangzhou authorities, numerous reports suggest the service could be as much as three times higher than traditional taxis.
[Image via Tech Asia]