But in the same way that the American taxi hailing app Uber has run into legal problems and opposition almost everywhere, so could some of these apps in China. As lawyer Qiu Baocheng tells China View, taxi fares are set by the authorities, and apps like Didi’s, which add to the fare, could be violating law. “The taxi company or business operators should take responsibility to improve the system in a way other than charging extra money,” Qiu says.

A possible drawback for cabbies is if the apps expand competition by giving residents the ability to also call on black cabs, drivers not working with a company, the People’s Daily points out. Moreover, if authorities hike cab fares in Beijing—as some have predicted (the government says it has no plans to)—demand for taxis could start to wane.

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