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Shenzhen begins restriction on new car purchases

SHENZHEN – Authorities in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province suddenly announced a restriction on car purchases on December 29, requiring prospective buyers to acquire new car plates by lottery or auction.

Starting from December 29, 100,000 new vehicle plates will be allocated annually for the city, including 20,000 electric cars, said Chen Huigang, deputy director of the city’s traffic and transport commission.

Half of the plates will be distributed through lottery and the other half by auction, and the auction may be connected with carbon emission trading in the future, said Chen.

Xu Wei, deputy head of traffic police bureau of the city, said vehicles with non-Shenzhen plates will be forbidden on roads during rush hours on weekdays if they are not from Hong Kong or Macao.

Shenzhen is the 7th city adopting vehicle purchase restrictions following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Tianjin and Hangzhou, as severe traffic congestion and heavy air pollution have become common problems in many Chinese cities.

The number of vehicles on Shenzhen roads already exceeded 3 million by September 2014.

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