Hangzhou latest city to restrict car sales
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[March 25, 2014]
— China's eastern city of
Hangzhou will start restricting car sales from Wednesday, joining
major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, in the fight against
snarling traffic and heavy smog in the world's largest automobile
The Hangzhou government said on Tuesday the curbs
would take effect while it canvassed public opinion on details of
It is proposing limiting sales to 80,000 units every 12 months, to
be split evenly over that period, the government said on the city's
official website (www.hangzhou.gov.cn).
A final decision on details of the curbs will be released at the end
of April, the government added.
China's leaders have declared a "war" on pollution, as they seeks to
calm public ire over water, air and soil pollution that often
reaches levels experts consider hazardous.
This has seen an increasing number of Chinese cities limit sales of
gasoline vehicles, a key contributor to air pollution.
The trend is pushing carmakers to shift their focus towards smaller
cities and speed the development of electric vehicles, which are
free from similar curbs.
The Hangzhou government said the decision aimed to tackle both
pollution and traffic jams.
Hangzhou, capital of the prosperous province of Zhejiang, is a
tourist attraction best known in China for its lake, but its luster
has been dulled in recent years by a recurrent smog problem.
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Five Chinese cities — Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and
Guiyang — have already put curbs on car sales and more are expected
Some cities use an auction system to allocate number plates while
others use a combination of lotteries and auctions.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Wang Lan, and Samuel Shen and Adam
Jourdan in Shanghai)
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