BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Beijing on Friday issued a guideline on bike sharing, giving it legal status as one of the city's transport components.
Bike sharing will be regulated and supervised by the municipal government. The number of bikes will be restricted and bike sharing firms will pay accident insurance for users.
Over the past year, bike sharing has developed too fast for the authorities to regulate. It has generally been encouraged as it is seen as convenient and green.
There are now 2.35 million for-hire bikes from 15 companies on the streets of the capital, but as a grey area without a clear regulation, problems such as haphazard parking and obstruction of crowded areas prompted the government to ban new shared bikes last week.
The guideline makes it clear that each district government in Beijing is responsible for the number of bikes on the street and for parking spaces.
All operators must register with banks in Beijing, and ensure privacy of user information. They are obliged to refund all deposits and retrieve all bikes from the streets if they quit the business.
The guideline entitles operators to blacklist and ban users who breach contracts.
According to BigData-Research, 19 million people used shared bikes in China last year, and the number is expected to rise to 50 million this year.