China is to launch a nationwide crackdown campaign on unlicensed taxis in an effort to protect cabbies from illegal competition, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
The campaign, which will start on Feb. 20 and last three months, will focus on the gangs, especially those mafia-style gangs, which disrupt the market, according to a bulletin posted on the Website of the ministry on Saturday.
Traffic authorities will mainly check transport hubs including major arteries, airports, bus stations, ports, hotels, hospitals, scenic spots and urban-rural fringes, where unlicensed vehicles are mostly found, it said.
Unlicensed taxis were partly blamed for triggering strikes by licensed drivers in several Chinese cities including the southwest municipality of Chongqing and the southern resort town of Sanya late last year.
Local authorities had either cut the monthly fees that cab drivers must pay or launched crackdown campaigns on illegal taxis in the wake of those strikes.
(Xinhua News Agency February 16, 2009)