Bike firms must link databases to government platform

The government hopes that through the online platform it will be able to determine the number of shared bikes in Shanghai so as to better manage the industry.

Shared bike companies operating in Shanghai must within the next month link their databases with a government online platform.

This is according to the standards on the industry that were released on Thursday.

Mobike, a leading bike sharing firm, said the data it will share with the government mainly concerns bike identifications and the exact locations where bikes are locked and unlocked.

The government hopes that through the platform it will be able to determine the number of shared bikes in Shanghai so as to better manage the industry.

The standards, drafted by Shanghai Transportation Commission, Shanghai Public Security Bureau, Shanghai Urban Management Law Enforcement Bureau and the city’s quality watchdog, are guidelines for the city’s booming bike sharing industry.

The aim is to regulate the sector’s service and security management as well as infrastructure construction.

Dai Dunwei, head of the transportation infrastructure department of Shanghai Transportation Commission, said the government will stay active in monitoring the number of shared bikes on the streets by analyzing demand and calculating capacity.

The “peak number” of shared bikes on Shanghai streets this year was about 1.78 million, according to data submitted by the companies. Dai said “there shouldn’t be any more” for the time being.

“We didn’t have reliable measures to determine the total number of shared bikes in Shanghai, and we hope this new information platform will help us do the job,” he said.

Newcomers to the industry should share their bike data with the government 30 days before they start to offer a service, according to the standards.

It’s estimated that the number of shared bikes on Shanghai streets by the end of last month was about 1.1 million. The government has waged a crackdown campaign against illegally parked bikes since September after which no more shared bikes were allowed to be added to current fleets.

“By the end of October, about 600,000 shared bikes were removed from the streets and 50,000 to 60,000 were relocated by the companies to other cities,” Dai said.

Ofo, another leading actor in the industry, said it plans to add 100 more bike pickup trucks and 300 more bike maintenance workers by the end of this year to more efficiently manage bikes parked in the streets.

The standards also stated that the business of shared e-bikes won’t be encouraged in Shanghai because of evidence of a large number of nonstandard e-bikes, increasing traffic accidents involving such bikes as well as fire hazards from their batteries. It’s estimated that the number of shared e-bikes in Shanghai is about 60,000.

“We will advise the companies to seek business in other cities,” Dai said. “Some of the e-bikes will have to  be removed from the streets.”

The standards also require companies to establish a bank account in Shanghai exclusively for keeping deposits from bike users. The account should be used  to buy accident insurance for the users, to register a plate for every bike and to equip the bikes with GPS systems.

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