Another shared bike brand hits the streets, but only in some areas

Qingju Bike, the new shared bike brand operated by Didi Chuxing, rode in to Shanghai on August 3.
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Ti Gong

Qingju Bike.

Qingju Bike, a new shared bicycle brand operated by Didi Chuxing, rode in to Shanghai on August 3.

According to Didi, the first batch of Qingju Bikes was dispensed in Anting Town and Nanxiang in Jiading District.

The Shanghai Transport Commission prohibited new shared bikes from hitting the streets in downtown areas from August last year. But it did allow shared bike companies to launch a relatively small number of new bikes in suburban areas where demand exceeds supply.

The company said Qingju will only operate in Jiading and will not be expanded to other districts any time soon.

Qingju has formed a maintenance team to monitor the usage of bikes as well as to regulate parking issues. “If our maintenance team detects a bike is parked outside Jiading, the bike will be retrieved and taken back to Jiading," a staff member said.

The company claimed that they have been working with Jiading District, but the city’s traffic authority told Shanghai Daily that they previously rejected Didi’s application to put bikes on the street.

“Qingju Bike put about 600 bikes into service in Jiading without approval,” an official from the authority confirmed. “We have asked them to retrieve all bikes otherwise they will be seized and the company will be listed as a low-credibility company.”

Earlier this year, Hello Bike, another shared bike firm, also put bikes on the streets of Minhang District and claimed to have the support of local government. Their bikes were later found all over the city.

Didi has been expanding its services to become a one-stop transportation platform by launching its own service as well as teaming up with third-party service providers.

Didi users will be able to use Booking Holdings' sites including Booking.com, priceline and Agoda.com to book hotels following the hospitality group’s investment in the mobility platform last month.

It is also launching a separate application for its chauffeur service called Didi Premium, following safety concerns over private cars operating on its car-hailing platform.

Tech giants have been eager to gain a foothold in the transportation market in order to retain users as well as to gain more access to user behavior data, which will help enhance smart transportation route planning capabilities. Didi is also working with automobile companies on further initiatives in electric vehicle and other transportation sectors, but no specific timetable has yet been given.

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