China / Society

Shenzhen explains abrupt limit on car purchase

By Wu Yan ( Updated: 2014-12-30 16:50

Shenzhen explains abrupt limit on car purchase

This photo taken at 7:37 pm on Dec 29, 2014 shows dealers trying to get keys for new cars just sold at the door of an office at a car dealership in Shenzhen.Authorities in Shenzhen, one of China's most industrialized cities, announced at 5:40pm on Monday that the city would put a cap on sales of new cars with residents only permitted to acquire a new vehicle either by lottery or auction.Starting from 6 pm Monday, only 100,000 new car plates will be allocated per year, a number which includes 20,000 electric cars.Upon hearing the sudden announcement, local residents made good use of the window of 20 minutes to rush to dealerships to buy a car.[Photo/CFP]

Shenzhen authorities responded to the online and offline fury over its abrupt decision and swift implementation of car purchase limit.

At 17:40 pm on Monday, Shenzhen announced restrictions on buying new cars, saying it will cap the number of new cars sold in the city at 100,000 a year, with 20 percent of them specially allocated to electric cars.

The regulation took effect at 18:00 pm on Monday, 20 minutes after it was announced. The move was a clear reversal to its previously stated stance.

Hearing the news, many rushed to car dealers but found the outlets blocked by police and within 20 minutes the dealerships were sealed off.

But that didn't deter some as they rushed to place orders and splashed out wads of cash on down payment.

The course of the events seems just like what the authorities foresaw.

If the regulation was announced in advance, it would have resulted in panic buying and that would have defeated the whole purpose of the policy, reported the official micro blog of People's Daily quoting the Shenzhen government.

The public was not convinced by the explanation and a heated discussion began happening on Sina Weibo, China's popular microblogging service.

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