Briefing: Beijing government issues first penalty for a bike-rental company

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首开罚单!哈啰出行在京违规投放共享单车被罚5万元 –

What happened: Beijing Transport Bureau on Friday announced a RMB 50,000 (around $7,230) fine against Hello TransTech for adding new bikes to the city without permission. It is the first time the Beijing government has penalized a bike rental company. According to a Weibo announcement posted Friday by the government agency, Hello TransTech was originally granted permission to replace 19,000 damaged bikes in suburban areas of the city in December 2017. However, there are more than 50,000 bikes across the city. In addition to the fine, the Ant Financial-backed mobility firm was told to remove the additional bikes within 10 working days.

Why its important: Hello TransTech apologized for its mistake in a response released Friday, and explained that the actual demand for shared bikes has been increasing since the spring. Local governments issued injunctions in late 2017 forbidding bike-rental platforms from adding new bicycles to cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou. The municipal government reprimanded Didi Thursday for introducing new bikes without permission from the same government agency. A growing number of rental bikes are in poor condition with no indication when authorities will lift the ban, leaving commuters with fewer options.