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Hail-a-taxi app banned in Shenzhen, S China


16:06, May 24, 2013

Smartphone apps that help commuters hail a taxi in China's major hubs have been banned in one city and face controls in 3 others.

Shenzhen has asked all drivers to remove the app from their cellphones, while Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Nanjing have all banned charges incurred for using the device.

The most popular app is Dididache, with more than 430,000 downloads since its release in Sept 2012. Despite the popularity of such apps, many users still have problems during bad weather and rush hour.

Statistics show one taxi APP business in Hangzhou city has successfully helped cab drivers pick up at least 1 million rides.

Chen, a taxi driver said the app installed on his mobile phone helps him to make more than 10 deals a day. "Cab drivers who do not use the apps will lose out," Chen said," you will lose chances to make money."

Experts said it is better the government control apps rather than to simply ban them, given such a big demand from both taxi drivers and passengers.

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