Guiyang, the capital of southwest China’s Guizhou province, has become the first China city to heed Beijing’s call to end restrictions on new-vehicle sales.
To ease local traffic congestion, Guiyang in 2011 started issuing special license plates for vehicles permitted to drive in its downtown area and capped the number of such plates to 2,000 per month.
Effective Sept. 12, the cap has been eliminated, the Guiyang city government said on its website.
Guiyang, with 4.9 million residents, had a fleet of 2.05 million vehicles at the end of 2018.
To spur the new-vehicle market, which is expected to fall for the second straight year in 2019, Beijing has repeatedly urged China’s major cities to stop or dial back on practices that limit sales.
Among eight cities that restrict new-vehicle sales in one way or another, only three have raised caps.
In June, two south China cities -- Guangzhou and Shenzhen -- agreed to allow a respective 100,000 and 80,000 new vehicles to be sold locally from June 2019 to the end of 2020, on top of existing annual quotas.
Other cities haven’t yet responded to the central government’s appeal. They include China’s two largest cities -- Shanghai and Beijing – and three provincial capitals -- Tianjin, Hangzhou and Shijiazhuang.