Bike-shar­ing in­dus­try stan­dards re­leased

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

SHANG­HAI — A set of in­dus­try stan­dards was re­leased Wed­nes­day to reg­u­late China’s bike-shar­ers who are driv­ing an al­ready mas­sive sec­tor which is highly com­pet­i­tive, crowded with ri­val play­ers and rapidly evolv­ing.

The cities of Shang­hai and Tian­jin have drafted reg­u­la­tions to take ef­fect on Oct 1, af­ter tak­ing ad­vice from bi­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers and bike­shar­ers.

Bike-shar­ing com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Mobike and Ofo, will ad­here to stan­dards on pro­duc­tion, op­er­a­tion, and main­te­nance of shared bikes.

The reg­u­la­tions spec­ify a ser­vice life of three years for all such bikes and de­mand com­pa­nies hire at least one main­te­nance em­ployee for ev­ery 200 bikes.

The rules also reg­u­late man­age­ment of de­posits, han­dling of cus­tomer com­plaints and com­pen­sa­tion for users.

More than 10 mil­lion shared bikes are on the streets of Chi­nese cities, op­er­ated by over 30 com­pa­nies. Be­tween them, Mobike and Ofo take up more than 90 per­cent of the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to China’s E-com­merce Re­search Cen­ter, there were 18.86 mil­lion peo­ple us­ing shared bikes at the end of last year, com­pared with 2.45 mil­lion in 2015.

But more users has led to more com­plaints about com­pany prac­tices as well as cus­tomer be­hav­ior and treat­ment of the bikes.

There were more than 2,600 com­plaints con­cern­ing shared bikes in Shang­hai in the first four months of the cur­rent year, nearly nine times more than the same pe­riod in 2016, said Ning Hai, deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Shang­hai Con­sumer Coun­cil.

De­posit re­turns and ad­vance pay­ments, too many bikes on the road and hap­haz­ard park­ing were top of the com­plaints list.

The new reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late that de­posits and ad­vance pay­ments should be re­turned less than seven days af­ter a re­quest.

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