Controversy Car Plates

When I wrote about the Chinese Car Plate the other day, I suddenly recalled from my memory that China has once opened the restriction on the car plate numbers and allow car owners to choose the car plate numbers by themselves.

That was back to Aug 12, 2002 (one month before I started my blog). In Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen, car owners started to have the freedom to choose the 6 digits of their car plate. They can use whatever numbers or alphabetic combination (with restriction of using I, O, T which may be confusing with numbers).

After 4000 people get their car plates, 10 days later, the pilot was stopped. The reason is, some people are not comfortable with the personalized car plate people choose. There are some examples:

CHN-001

SEX-001

123-456

IBM-001

BMW-001

TMD-001

USA-911

So, this practice is stopped. I am not surprised at all. When people still believe very few people can help to define the rules and moral guidelines for the whole society, they will still try to control…

What do you think about this small piece of history?

13 thoughts on “Controversy Car Plates

  1. Shrek7

    that’s an interesting piece of history. I don’t bother asking for a personalized car plate and, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t request ‘SEX SHREK’.

  2. cookie

    I think it’s a wonder that your blog are not banned by the government until now. Maybe that’s because you express your heresy only in English.

  3. DC

    nice thoughts Shrek. then, I might get a DC007 :)

    Cookie, if you’re long enough as a reader of this blog here you will realised that we are merely discussion some daily life matters. Nothing contraversial here nor against the government. Every country has their own sovereignity and we respect that.

  4. cookie

    DC, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been following this blog even before he left the company.

    [quote]

    So, this practice is stopped. I am not surprised at all. When people still believe very few people can help to define the rules and moral guidelines for the whole society, they will still try to control…

    [/quote]

  5. funnyplates

    Whats wrong with these car plates? In Australia, I have seen car plates such as “sexygal” , “biteme” and even “china” no kidding

  6. Давид

    I’ve seen a hot woman driving a red convertible with tag “3M TA3”.

    If you can’t figure out what this means, look at it through your rear view mirror.

    Posted by JBN-282.

  7. ddjiii

    In America (most states) you can choose your own plate characters – but you have to pay extra!

  8. ilya

    I guess many good ideas end like this – some people doing offensive things, others complaing and officials scrapping the whole program. Sure it’s understandible they weren’t happy of being in the middle of controversy.

    Yet, it looks like when people are allowed to do what they want many start with doing quite stupid things. May be this is an illustration along the lines of democracy being not right thing for China in the foreseeable future.

  9. cookie

    [quote]

    Yet, it looks like when people are allowed to do what they want many start with doing quite stupid things.

    [/quote]

    Somehow, I believe people will start doing smart things after a while…That’s why democracy will be the right thing in the long run.

  10. AussiePB

    Yes, this has been common practice in Australia for many years. There are some restrictions though – you must apply first, and curse words or swear words are not acceptable (eg. ass)… some people over the years have been very creative… in the early days of this intiative in Queensland, you could only get plates with three letters followed by two numbers. Here are a couple of examples of the creativity from Queenslanders:

    There was a farmer with a surname of ‘McDonald’… his number plate was “EIE-10” (for those of you familiar with western children’s nursery rhymes, you will know the song “Old McDonald Had A Farm”, and the common line that keeps coming back in the song, is “Old McDonald had a farm, ee i ee i o”… so a farmer named McDonald with this plate is quite clever.

    Another one is “POT-80” (phonetically prounounced “pot-eight-o” (this was owned by a potato farmer).

    A more recent one I saw in Melbourne (many more formats available now), was on a Ferrari – it was 1H8-GST… the Goods and Services Tax in Australia is extremely large on luxury items like imported cars, so for this car owner to say he hates the GST, I can fully understand his sentiments. :D

  11. Jian Shuo Wang

    AussiePB, the example you gave is interesting. To put something like a long English word into 3 digits is challenging, and I discovered the wisdom and creativity of people using English is completely from Chinese.

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