Chinese bike-rental companies are taking an indirect path to revive their businesses — replacing old bikes with new ones. Didi this week replaced 10,000 used bikes in Beijing with 3,000 new ones in an effort to refresh its brand image while complying with the government’s restrictions. However, it was immediately reprimanded by the municipal government for violating rules.

According to a report by Beijing Youth Daily, 3,000 new Qingju bikes were introduced to Xierqi, an area in Beijing home to the headquarters of Chinese internet giants such as Baidu and Didi.

Didi, which owns bike-rental services Qingju and Bluegogo, said it had removed 10,000 old Bluegogo bikes from the area a month earlier after being granted permission from the Zhongguancun administrative committee to better meet demand and help relieve traffic in the area. Xierqi belongs to Zhongguancun Technology Park.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen