China’s Xi’an City Seeks Feedback on Vehicle Restrictions

Xi’an, home of China’s terracotta warriors, may limit vehicle ownership to control traffic congestion, the latest city in the world’s largest auto market to consider such restrictions.

The city government put out a draft plan that includes a provision allowing it to “control the total volume of vehicles and introduce restrictions on their use according to traffic conditions,” according to its website. The proposal, for which authorities are seeking public feedback until Aug. 15, is one of 88 regulations listed in the document that also covers parking spaces, right of way rules and the use of bicycles.

Cities in China, home to 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities according to the World Bank, have resorted to limiting sales as surging car ownership worsens congestion and pollution. The number of cars in China may surpass 200 million by 2020, a trend that will require intelligent traffic management, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on July 31, citing the Ministry of Transport.

If the plan is approved, Xi’an will join the cities of Guangzhou, Guiyang, Beijing and Shanghai in restricting vehicle ownership. The southern city of Guangzhou said on June 30 that it would limit new car registrations to half of the previous year’s total.

SAIC Motor Corp., the nation’s biggest carmaker, fell as much as 6 percent in Shanghai and was trading 5.1 percent lower at 12.23 yuan as of 1:27 p.m. local time. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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