Beijing's New Restrictive Auto License Policy Sends Share Falling

City officials plan to issue about 240,000 new vehicle licenses next year, compared to 700,000 registered so far this year.

Published: 27-Dec-2010

HONG KONG -- Automotive shares traded sharply lower Friday in Hong Kong as investors reacted to the Beijing municipal government’s new, aggressive measures to address traffic congestion by curbing growth in car ownership.

Officials are planning to issue about 240,000 new vehicle licenses next year, compared to 700,000 registered so far this year, Zhou Zhengyu, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government, told reporters Thursday.

Traffic congestion is a persistent problem in Beijing and throughout much of China, with an IBM survey this year saying the Chinese capital is tied with Mexico City for the title of “World’s Worst Commute.”

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