Chinese Cities Dalian and Tianjin Restrict Car Sales, Ownership to Help Curb Nation’s Growing "Airpocalypse"

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 16, 2013 4:45 PM EST

The cities of Dalian and Tianjin located in northern China have joined the list of jurisdictions where car sales and ownership are imposed on its local constituents, in a bid to help curb the nation's growing "airpocalypse" problem.

Mr Yi Hai Lin, Tianjin vice mayor, told CCTV the city government has started laying the groundwork policy that will not only restrict and control the growth of automotive sales in Tianjin, but also curb the growing number of new energy vehicles on its roads.

In a notice posted on its website on Sunday, the city government said new license plates will be issued via auction and lottery from Monday.

The city government also said a quota system similar to Beijing's traffic restriction scheme will be introduced in Tianjin. Quoting Miao Hongwei, head of the city's traffic management bureau, the official Xinhua news agency reported the scheme dictates vehicles will be allowed access to the city's roads depending on the last digit of their plates.

The ban has been scheduled to take effect in March 2014. Local officials forecast the measure will take off one fifth of the city's private cars off the road on workdays.

On the other hand, the Liaoning provincial government has likewise already approved Dalian city's plans to control car sales. A date for implementation has yet to be set.

Tianjin presently has more than 2 million cars on its roads. Dalian has 1.2 million.

Dalian and Tianjin are just some of the cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, resorting to drastic measures to curb the country's growing air pollution problem.

In November, Beijing announced it will slash the city's new car sales quota by 40 per cent in 2014.

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