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Car-rental companies in China told to prioritize safety for consumer interest

Government guideline aims to regulate the market and develop the car-rental sector healthily

Car-rental companies should put safety first and enhance operation to meet the growing demand of consumers, according to a guideline issued today.

The guideline, issued by the ministry of transport and ministry of housing and urban-rural development, aims to regulate the market and promote the healthy development of the car-rental sector.

"Car-rental companies should follow the principle that safety is the first priority and provide safe, convenient and high-quality car-rental services to the public," the guideline said.

Car-rental companies should implement identification checks on customers, carry out regular inspection and maintenance to ensure the vehicles meet performance and safety standards.

Car-sharing companies should also enhance their operation and management of rental cars. Car-rental companies are encouraged to monitor vehicles by using positioning devices, geographic information system and other technologies.

Companies should set up a mechanism to handle complaints from consumers and provide timely responses to people who use the cars, the transport ministry said.

There are more than 6,300 car-rental companies with a fleet of 200,000 cars in the China market, which enjoys a 20 percent growth annually, according to a statement published on the official website of the transport ministry.

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