Taxi was probably introduced to China early last century, and experienced a stride in 1920-30's. After the Communists took over the power, the taxi business was put under the state ownership. During the Cultural Revolution, taxi extinguished completely in Mainland China.

After the reform and opening to the outside world in late 1970's, the taxi business in China was brought back to the track of rapid development. By the end of 2002, there have been over 1500 taxi companies in China with a number of about 989, 143 vehicles. In Shanghai, 100 Mercedes-Benz taxis came into business in the past few years.

Taxi fares vary in different citiesTaxi fares vary in different cities; generally the cost is low compared with that in the West. The taximeter starts from RMB5-12.5 (US$0.65-1.55) depending on how rich the city is, and the rate is always written on the taxi window for your reference. But please note most of Chinese taxi drivers have no knowledge of English, so don't expect them to understand you where to go unless you speak little Chinese or have your destination name on paper in both English and Chinese.