What happened: Chinese bike rental firms are reducing bike placements in major cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen, and Kunming, local media is reporting. The cities are following Beijing’s example. The capital city now has 1.91 million bikes operated by nine companies, down nearly 20% compared to the peak number.
Why it’s important: Although proposed as a greener option for transportation, the sizzling development of the bike rental industry over the past two years has been shadowed by environmental concerns. Since 2017, Chinese major cities have issued bans that prevent companies from cramming new bikes onto the already crowded sidewalks. In addition to external government pressure, the current reduction in bike placement is also a result of a cooling market in which it is increasingly difficult for bike rental firms to get funding to support team operation and expansion.