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Experts: Carsharing Needs City Managers' Help

The new carsharing industry needs both supportive government policies and a set of detailed regulation rules.

By Xu Mouquan Updated Feb.20

City managers need to create a favorable environment for the new carsharing industry,  complemented by detailed management rules, according to experts consulted by Shanghai-based news portal The Paper

The price Chinese have to pay to buy and maintain cars keeps rising; some major cities, like Beijing, have adopted strict car and traffic control measures; and parking spaces haven’t increased at the same pace as car ownership. 
All these factors, according to the news portal, contribute to the public's huge potential demand for carsharing services. The Paper found that carsharing brand Gofun, of Beijing-based car-maker Shouqi Group, has put up 1,100 cars for sharing and has over 100 service stations in Beijing, expected to surpass 200 by the end of 2017.  
But many cities haven’t created any regulations for the market, warned the news portal, meaning there are no rules to follow once problems with carsharing inevitably arise.  
Unlike bikes, which are already shared via several popular apps, the shared cars occupy far more urban space and road resources. City managers must therefore work out, among other issues, whether the numbers of such cars should be controlled and whether market entry norms are needed, said Huang Haibo, secretary general to the Transportation Specialized Committee of Beijing Lawyers Association. 
Most of the experts consulted agreed the authorities should prioritize creating a favorable environment for the new sector, otherwise its development would be hamstrung . But they added that clear and detailed rules were also needed, and worried about the potential for exploitation of the service by thieves or others. They proposed that the platform's internal systems should converge with China's efforts to build a national 'social credit system' to deter abuse.