Police are investigating 21 people for violence during the latest taxi strike to hit China as a growing number of drivers protest high costs and competition from illegal cabs, state media said yesterday.
Those under investigation in Sanya, a popular holiday destination on the southern island province of Hainan, are suspected of smashing cabs and attacking drivers who refused to participate in Monday’s strike, Xinhua news agency reported.
The report did not say who they were or how they were involved in the Sanya strike, which took place just days after similar action by 9,000 drivers in the southwestern city of Chongqing.
During that two-day strike, disgruntled taxi drivers smashed more than 100 cabs and three police vehicles, state media reported.
In Sanya, more than 200 cab drivers gathered in front of the municipal government office on Monday seeking relief from high monthly taxi rental fees and competition from unlicensed cabs, Xinhua said.
Calls to Sanya’s public security bureau rang unanswered yesterday and an official from the transport bureau said he was in a meeting and could not talk.
Taxi companies refused to comment.
Protests are becoming more common across China as dissatisfaction grows over issues ranging from tough living standards to official corruption.
In Yongdeng, a county in Gansu province hundreds of kilometers away from Sanya, another 160 cab drivers went on strike on Monday, Xinhua said.
Citing Ma Jiangshan (馬江山), a representative of the taxi drivers, Xinhua said the drivers are demanding that the government get rid of the 700 illegal cabs that compete with the 280 licensed taxis operating in the county.