Briefing: Didi takes punitive measures against deviant shared bike riders

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滴滴发布违规使用单车惩罚措施,相关账号将被冻结5-90天 — Jiemian

What happened: Mobility company Didi is taking more severe punitive measures against misbehaving rental bike riders. Rule-breaking such as locking and/or hiding bikes for private use, damaging bike parts, and pasting will be targeted. Offenders will be forbidden from using the service for a maximum of 90 days. The company warned that repeat offense of certain actions such as theft would be reported to the police. The measures went into effect on Wednesday on Didi’s bike-rental platforms Qingju and Bluegogo.

Why its important: User misconduct has been one of the big costs for struggling Chinese bike-rental firms. Hong Kong-listed Meituan recorded an RMB 11 billion ($1.6 billion) operating loss in 2018, nearly triple the previous year. That company partly blamed its poor performance on depreciation of plant and equipment from Mobike, which it fully acquired in April 2018. In August, a Chinese media report citing an Ofo spokesperson said that around 1,500 Ofo bicycles were found broken on average each day in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. Didi, which made a $370 million investment in Ofo, appears to want to strengthen management and increase efficiency on its self-owned bike-rental platforms.