Briefing: Bike rental cool down prompts calls for policy change

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街头共享单车数量明显少了 “禁投令”该不该放松 – Tencent Tech

What happened: Alibaba-backed bike rental company Hello Transtech was summoned by the Shanghai government in January for illegally placing new bikes in downtown areas like Jingansi District of the city while the ban to place more bikes in the city is still in place. The company has been ordered to suspend the move and withdraw the illegally placed bikes. Hello Transtech said the reason for the “misplacement” of the bikes was the company’s unfamiliarity with the locations in question by the company’s operations and maintenance staff. The company said it will cooperate with government departments in the future.

Why it’s important: To curb the negative side effects of rental bikes on local transportation management, Shanghai placed a halt on new bikes in the city in August 2017. But as the bike rental boom cools down, industry insiders are starting to ask how well this yearlong ban fits with current circumstances. Back around the time the rules were introduced there were more than 1.7 million shared bikes in the city. But the figure dropped significantly to around a quarter of that as financial challenges at bike rental giants such as ofo and Mobike grew, the Tencent Tech story noted. Like Shanghai, all major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shenzhen halted bike placement at the prime time of China’s bike rental boom. It could be the need for a policy adjustment is a countrywide thing.