Shenzhen gets tough on bike-sharing operators
Bicycles of Chinese bike-sharing service Mobike are lined up in Shenzhen city, south China's Guangdong province, on July 13, 2017. [Photo: Imagine China]
A set of tough measures were announced Thursday to regulate the bike-sharing market in South China's metropolis of Shenzhen.
The city will suspend the addition of new shared bikes on its roads and require companies to properly dispose of haphazardly parked bikes within 30 minutes, according to the Transport Commission of Shenzhen Municipality.
The commission convened a meeting on Wednesday to deal with problems in shared bike market.
If companies fail to respond to misplaced bikes, these bikes will be confiscated, the regulation said.
China's sharing economy has been growing rapidly, as seen in the bike-sharing craze. However, the booming industry has resulted in problems including indiscriminate parking, illegal cycling, and deposit risks.
Shenzhen has 10 bike-sharing companies operating around 890,000 bikes. It has joined Shanghai, Tianjin and other major cities to enforce tough regulations on the sector.
Around 70 bike-sharing brands are operating within China, with more than 16 million shared bicycles on streets nationwide and over 130 million users, according to the Ministry of Transport (MOT).
By scanning a bike's QR code with a smartphone, riders can pedal away for as little as 0.5 yuan (7.4 U.S. cents). The services allow users to pick up or drop off the bikes almost anywhere. Deposits vary between 99 and 299 yuan.
Among the regulations, Shenzhen requires all bikes to have smart locks installed and each bike must receive maintenance and repairs every two months.
Bike operators shall publish details of deposits through their apps at the end of every month. Companies must pay personal injury and third party liability insurances for their users, the commission said.
Companies must properly handle complaints and other problems within two hours, said the commission.