Shanghai's Car Plate Auction Hits New High
SHANGHAI, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Prices of new license plates in Shanghai hit record high in March as enthusiasm for private-car ownership continued to grow despite government controls on new vehicle registration.
Shanghai is the only Chinese city to use an auction to control plate supply. In the monthly auction that ended this weekend, the average bid for a license plate was 58,625 yuan (9,380 U.S. dollars), up 5.37 percent from the February average, government data showed.
The lowest individual bid was 58,300 yuan in March, also a record high, according to the data.
The government said it released 8,000 new license plates this month for 24,897 individuals registered in the auction.
Auction records had been broken more than 10 times since the beginning of 2011.
China outpaced the United States as the world's largest auto market in 2009 but many of the country's big cities had already been struggling with recurring gridlock and other traffic-related issues. In 2010, Beijing started to impose a cap on monthly plate supply and introduce a lottery system to distribute the plates among aspirant buyers.