The Nanfang / Blog

Beijing Taxi Fares Among the Cheapest in the World

Posted: 09/24/2014 3:25 pm

beijing taxi gridlock traffic jamBeijing, once famous for its garlic-smelling cabs, has the cheapest taxi fares in the world among major international metropolitan cities, according to Focus, a German publication. Beijing taxis only charge 3.87 Euros (RMB 29.8, around $4.97) for a 10 kilometre trip.

At the other end is Tokyo, where taking a cab is downright prohibitive. A 10 kilometre ride in the world’s largest city is 25.39 Euros (RMB 200.1, approximately $32.64), 6.7 times more than Beijing.

The taxi services of other world cities fall in between. A ten kilometer taxi trip in London costs 22.5 Euros (around $28.93); in New York City, it costs the equivalent of 13.98 Euros (approximately $17.97); and in Paris, such a trip will set you back 12.20 Euros (about $15.68).

Wang Limei, secretary of the Chinese National Raod Transportation association, explained that these European and American cities have higher taxi fares because “foreigners have higher salaries”.

Traffic expert Zhang Haitao said Beijing fares couldn’t ever get as high as those overseas:

From downtown Washington to the airport, it will cost about $100. This is too expensive for locals, and removes the effectiveness of (the taxi) by its price.

Caijing explained that taxis in these other countries are used as an emergency measure, and not regularly used for commuting like in Beijing. Residents of the USA and Europe also take fewer taxis because they have a convenient and effective public transportation system. (The fact that many Europeans and North Americans also own cars wasn’t mentioned).

Caijing went on to say each of these world-class cities have subway stations within a 100 to 200 meter walk, and that it is even convenient to take luggage on the subway .

At the end of it all, you get what you pay for. You get cheap fares in Beijing, only to sit in the worst traffic in the country.


Photo: roll.msn


Foreigner Gets Whipped With A Leather Belt In Beijing Traffic Altercation

Posted: 09/9/2014 6:17 pm

beijing bmw traffic collision whippingAn unidentified foreigner has found out the hard way what it means to get involved in other people’s problems when he was assaulted during an altercation after a Beijing traffic accident.

The foreign man hailed a cab near Shuangjing with a female companion on September 6 around 9pm at south-east corner of Tianbian Street and Huili Road. However, a BMW was blocking the turning lane in front of the taxi. According to the cab driver and many eyewitnesses, the BMW went into reverse and collided with the taxi. That’s when everybody got out of their cars to talk it over.

Multiple witnesses say the two sides were just talking at first, but things escalated quickly when the expat kicked the front of the BMW. “Speaking honestly, the kick was not a heavy one,” according to one eyewitness, a Mr Wang.

beijing bmw traffic collision whipping

After that, Wang said the driver of the BMW, a woman, tried to kick the foreigner; then he pushed her down. More pushing and shoving ensued.

At one point, as the foreigner was picking up his things, the driver began to whip him with a leather belt. The foreigner’s friend pleaded with her to stop.

Many eyewitnesses describe the actions of the BMW as “excessive”, with one saying, “That he kicked her car isn’t right, but that doesn’t mean you can hit someone first.” Many are reported to be willing to provide testimony to the police in support of the foreigner.

Under police guidance, the two sides have negotiated a settlement. No charges by police are mentioned in the report.

This is a video that shows the foreigner being attacked with a belt and his female companion continuously pleading for it to stop:

Photo: iFeng


Beijing Taxi Driver Dozes Off Behind The Wheel Before Fatal Crash

Posted: 08/25/2014 2:20 pm

bj taxi crash fatalitiesThree people traveling in a Beijing taxi cab have died after a collision in which the driver is suspected of being extremely tired from working a double shift, reports Caijing. The taxi collided with a tree while heading west on Third Ring Road nearby Wanfangting Park on Sunday morning.

The crash killed everyone inside the vehicle: the driver and two passengers, a man and a woman.

Other taxi drivers confirm it is very common for Beijing cabbies to work double shifts; sometimes they work for more than ten hours at a time.

bj taxi crash fatalities

To make matter worse, safety belts are not provided for passengers riding in the back seat of Beijing taxi cabs, something that is common in many other Chinese cities. Instead, the harnesses are often pushed inside the seat cushion and aren’t available.

Earlier this year, a Dongguan taxi driver died after working a 24 hour shift.


Photos: Caijing


Video: Beijing Ferrari Driver Beats Taxi Driver in Middle of Busy Street

Posted: 07/25/2014 11:38 am

beijing ferrari owner beats taxi cabbie assaultA Ferrari driver in Beijing has been caught on video assaulting two people in the middle of a busy street, reports Sina News Video.

At around 11:30pm on July 23 in Beijing’s Chaoyang District near Liangma Bridge, a Ferrari sports car suddenly cut in front of a taxi. Then the driver of the sports car hopped out and moved toward the taxi.

As caught on video, the driver of the Ferrari is seen beating the taxi driver, then on his knees in the middle of the road. The Ferrari driver slapped and kicked the taxi driver and used foul language to berate him.

beijing ferrari owner beats taxi cabbie assault

Later, a male passerby tried to intervene, but he too was beaten and kicked by the Ferrari driver. Neither victim fought back. Both were seen bleeding from the mouth and fell unconscious.

The police arrested the Ferrari driver once the arrived, although the driver claims he was beaten by the cops.

The video was taken by a netizen named Wang, who recorded most of the five minute-long assault.

beijing ferrari owner beats taxi cabbie assault

The driver of the taxi is named Chen, 38. He suffered an ear injury and soft tissue injuries from the assault. The passerby that tried to intervene is named Yi, and he also suffered soft tissue damage and a swollen eye. He apparently now has difficulty walking.

According to Chen, the Ferrari driver had jumped in front of his taxi and said “You hit me!” while pounding on the hood. Another man with the Ferrari driver reportedly said, “He’s drunk; if you’ll come out and talk about it with him, I’m sure it will be all right.”

Here is a video of the incident:


Photos: Asia Today


Dongguan Hotels Suffering, Occupancy Down 90% After Sex Crackdown

Posted: 04/25/2014 9:14 am

More than two months into Dongguan’s sex trade crackdown, the once bustling city is currently suffering from dwindling visitor numbers and a tepid hotel business that used to generate RMB 300 million ($48 million) in revenues annually, Time Weekly reported on April 24.

Visitors at Houjie, one of the main red light districts in Dongguan, have dropped 50 to 60 percent since the February crackdown, said one cab driver surnamed Li. Meanwhile, a downtown center in Houjie called Kangle Nan Lu has seen an 80 to 90 percent drop in visitor traffic. Li estimated that at least 80,000 people have left the town after the crackdown.

One person associated with a 5-star hotel in Houjie said, “The hotel business has entered a cold winter.” The city’s number of 5-star hotels is the third largest nationally after Beiing and Shanghai, but the crackdown has put a brake on investments towards its hotels.

Another reason Dongguan hotels are expecting more lean times is due to the government clampdown on extravagant government spending. Five-star hotels were often the venue on which government officials splurged public spending on lavish meals.

Despite government’s hardline stance on the sex trade, some brave souls have managed to keep the old business afloat. One person called Ah Jing still ferries prostitutes to different hotels. Currently managing 15 prostitutes, Ah Jing drives the xiaojie to the customer’s hotel for the special service.

It is hard to predict how long the aftermath of the crackdown is going to effect the city. However, it seems the effect is continuing to ripple wider and wider at the same time the city is also battling dwindled export figures as the country’s economy slows.

Home page photo: China News 


Dongguan Cabbie Dies After Working 24 Continuous Hours

Posted: 04/23/2014 12:12 pm

taxi cab driver overwork to death labor conditions

Wang Xianwu is your average hard-working Chinese man. Recently divorced, Wang wanted a better life for his children, and was trying to secure a down payment on a house for his son. Unfortunately, it was Wang’s diligence and work ethic that served as his demise.

Wang died on April 20, and was found in his rented apartment in Zhushan, Dongguan, reports Dongguan Times. Wang was only 43 years-old. He had been driving cabs in Dongguan for a total of 12 years, and had been working for the Dongguan Tianlong Taxi company.

The preliminary investigation by police state that the suspected cause of death is “overwork”. They may not have to search hard: right before he passed away, Wang had worked 24 continuous hours driving a cab.

A standard practice for operating a cab in China is to assign two drivers to one car. Working in shifts, one works during the day while the other works at night. Due to a change of shifts on the day he died, Wang ended up working both shifts. Accustomed to long hours, Wang normally worked shifts of at least 12 hours long.

Death from overwork is not rare in China. Another Dongguan man died suddenly early April after working the entire month of March in which he accrued 190 hours of overtime. 21 Guangdong police officers that died last year were attributed to overwork. A 29 year-old real estate planner died suddenly after routinely working until three or four am each day.

A grand procession of a hundred cabs adorned in white flowers supplied a regal farewell for Wang Xianwu. However, it’s still not clear as to what other measures will be taken in light of this tragedy. Under the current system that forces taxi drivers to work long hours at the cost to their health, what fare is fair?

Photo: Dongguan Times


Dongguan taxi drivers forced to pay RMB92,000 in “tea money” fee

Posted: 08/29/2012 11:40 am

While Guangdong continues to experiment with legal reforms, particularly as it relates to small business and private investment, many of China’s old business traditions remain alive and well. One such tradition is that of “tea money”. For those unfamiliar with the practice, tea money is a bribe used to facilitate a business deal, notably in the hotel and service industry. According to a report in the Yangcheng Evening News, it is also quite common within the taxi industry.

Last year, Guangzhou taxi driver Lao Wang complained that in order to acquire a contract extension with the company he was driving for, he was obliged to pay a RMB20,000 – RMB30,000 hidden fee. When the story broke in the media, public outrage drew further attention to the issue, and eventually a police investigation followed.

The story in Dongguan however is quite different. According to the Yangcheng News report, the He Xing Transport Company (和兴运输公司) has been charging Dongguan taxi drivers substantially more than their Guangzhou neighbours.

There are currently 50 cab drivers working for He Xing who are obliged to surrender their old cabs this year due to servicing requirements, and then apply for a new one. The application process can take as long as four months. The wait, however, is the least of the cab drivers’ worries. The manager of He Xing Transport has imposed a RMB92,000 fee which must be paid before the new cabs will be released to their drivers. According to the manager, RMB80,000 is for a “vehicle deposit”, although no formal records of the deposit are kept. The manager provided no explanation for the remaining RMB12,000.

While tipping Dongguan taxi drivers isn’t exactly customary, if you come across one of the 50 drivers who will soon have to pay the tea money, perhaps you might want to make an exception.



Shenzhen rushes to raise taxi fuel surcharge, violating its own regulations

Posted: 03/28/2012 3:56 pm

With the price of gas in China continuing to soar, surpassing even US fuel prices last week, Shenzhen has decided to further raise its taxi fuel surcharge from 1 RMB to 4 RMB per ride, Yangcheng Evening News reports.

The higher fuel surcharge was originally meant to take effect starting March 21, in accordance with an official nationwide gas price hike announced on March 20. However, as that decision generated intense dissatisfaction among the public—taxi drivers and taxi companies in particular—the Shenzhen government decided to temporarily offset the new prices, which took effect in the city on Monday this week (March 26).

Yet, based on regulations regarding the raising of gas prices in Shenzhen, passed after a public hearing held in August 2009, fuel surcharges many only be increased following a two-month observation period. As of Monday this week, only seven days had passed since Beijing issued its decree to raise gas prices.

Shenzhen’s justification has been that international oil prices has been rising steadily and are very unlikely to fluctuate drastically within a short period, thus there was no need to set an observation period this time.

That explanation has failed to convince citizens. According to Zheng Xueding, a citizen who attended the public hearing at which the two-month observation period regulation was passed, there were no clauses written into the document allowing for such an exemption in the process of adjusting prices. Moreover, it states clearly that during any time in which gas prices lie between 7.14 and 8.41 RMB per liter, the tax fuel surcharge for taxis is fixed at 2 RMB per ride.

The current price for #93 gas in Shenzhen is 8.37 RMB per liter, but the city’s fuel surcharge has rested at 3 RMB for quite some time.

Guangzhou city hall has stated publicly that fuel surcharges will not be raised for the time being. In Shantou, the city’s Price Control Administration announced this week that a hearing will be held in April to debate a proposal to raise the starting fare for Shantou taxis from the current 5 RMB to 10 RMB.


Beware the taxis outside Dongguan’s new train station

Posted: 02/7/2012 8:52 am

So apparently there’s a new train station in Dongguan—in Humen, to be precise, part of the new Guangzhou-Shenzhen high-speed rail line.

Does it make it any easier to get to downtown Dongguan? A bit, but Humen’s closer proximity to Guangzhou also makes it much more convenient to reach the factory-laden area between the two cities as well as several of Dongguan’s fanciest hotels.

However, New Express reported earlier this week that taxis waiting outside Humen Railway Station are refusing to run by the meter and have been gouging passengers by demanding fares with as much as a 100% markup.

New Express received no response from Humen Railway Station management. Perhaps someone has had a similar experience there?

The newspaper also reports that trash is piling up outside the station, a sharp contrast to its shiny glimmering interior, with no one apparently having been given the task of grounds maintenance.

Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV