BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Users of bike-sharing services in China should register under their real names, the industry watchdog said Thursday.
Due to safety concerns, bike-sharing providers are banned from offering services to children under the age of 12 and are not encouraged to offer electric bike services, according to guidelines released by the Ministry of Transport and nine other government departments.
By scanning a bicycle's QR code with a smartphone, riders can pedal away for as little as 0.5 yuan (7.4 U.S. cents ). The services allow users to pick up or drop off a bike almost anywhere.
There were 18.9 million users of shared bikes in China in 2016. The number is expected to hit 50 million by the end of this year.
However, the bike share boom has led to urban management challenges such as congested city sidewalks.
City governments should improve bike transportation networks and study specific conditions to ensure rational allocation of bicycles and avoid excess supply in some areas, the guidelines said.
Bike-sharing operators can set up electronic fences to guide users to park in an orderly manner and dispose of non-functioning bicycles in a timely fashion.
The guidelines also encourage them to offer services without requiring deposits and require that their servers be based on the Chinese mainland.