China to regulate booming bike-sharing industry

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-22 19:02:01|Editor: Mengjie
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BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- China is considering regulating bike-sharing services that are booming nationwide but causing a significant challenge to urban management.

The Ministry of Transport will solicit public opinion from May 22 to June 5 on draft rules requiring local governments to better manage bike-sharing and arrange orderly parking.

The draft states that parking zones should be established around major transportation hubs, shopping areas and office blocks, and the parking of shared bikes should be supervised and orderly.

It advised local authorities to make "negative lists" of areas off-limits for parking.

The draft also requires construction of cycleways and suggests the bike-sharing sector should use real-name registration.

In addition, the rules forbid children under the age of 12 from riding shared bikes and ban shared electric bikes.

The bike-sharing business took off in big Chinese cities in the past two years. It allows riders to hire bikes for about one yuan (about 15 U.S. cents) per hour via a mobile app and drop them off anywhere for the next user.

The service has reduced traffic congestion and cut auto emissions, but haphazardly parked bikes often block sidewalks and lead to complaints.

More than 20 bike-sharing brands have sprung up, placing millions of bicycles on streets around the country and wrestling for market share.

There were 18.9 million users of shared bicycles nationwide in 2016. The number is expected to hit 50 million by the end of the year, according to China E-Commerce Research Center.