Generally, I think taking a cab in Airport is safe in China. They only allowed certain type of cab to take passengers from the Airport. And I hardly heard any cab issue in China.
As long as you don't accept a 'tout' then yes. Just queue up and take a cab. When you pay say to the driver "Fa-peow' which means invoice so as you have the detail of the cab you took just in case you leave something behind. You may find that the cab might not have seatbelts through out though.
I'd also agree that by queuing at the taxi rank, you should enjoy a safe experience however 'Chinamonty' makes a valid point about seat belts. It's not guaranteed but Guangzhou is a pretty civilised place and airport cabs in the official rank/designated waiting point should be modern and clean.
I'd recommend printing off the address of your destination in Chinese and a few phrases of Cantonese/Mandarin go a long way to making sure your driver doesn't scam you or drive badly.
I am back from GZ. Queuing for a taxi at the Baiyun airport was quite an eye opening experience. In the wee hours, taxis were few and the queue was very long. Hence, touts took the opportunity to offer rides. A handful took the offers but most waited in the queue. What’s exciting is, police enforcement tried to shoo the touts away. Within minutes, the touts are back. These incidents repeated a few times. Finally, an officer was “determined” to chase one of them down. Not long after, the touts returned. Oh well…..
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