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Chinese share-bike service to see new player in 2017
   2016-12-21 15:47:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Yaqi

Ubike releases two products of ¡°Mars¡± on December 13, 2016. [Photo: technode.com]

With China experiencing a booming sharing-economy, Ubike, a newcomer among bike-sharing services, said it's going to distribute 100,000 to 200,000 bikes in Shanghai early next year and enlarge its business to 52 cities across the country.

Share-bikes are designed mainly for white-collar workers who need to ride for a kilometer or two before getting on a subway heading to the office or home.

Yu Yi from Ubike said Shanghai currently has 150,000 to 200,000 share-bikes, while the city's market capacity is one million. That is why the company is moving into the market, despite fierce competition from established players like Mobike and Ofo bike.

Yu said Ubike plans to cooperate with Shanghai bike producer Forever, and offer 2.8 million bikes in 2017, mainly for Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and other cities within the Yangtze River delta and the Pearl River delta.

Ubike now has two products with adjustable seat heights able to suit people 1.45 to 1.9 meters tall.

The Ubike product has an adjustable seat. [Photo: technode.com]

Riders must download a smartphone app and use it to scan a QR code to unlock the bike.

Yu said a decision on standards fees for the bike service in Shanghai has not been made, but will charge according to the current industry level. Ofo bike charges users 1 yuan, or 14 US cents for each ride.

However, China at present does not have specific regulations on the products and services share-bike companies provide. There are no clear standards to measure whether a company is qualified, when to put a bike into maintenance, who should be the target user, etc.

Over 100 share-bikes are impounded by the urban management department in Chengdu, Sichuan Province on November 25, 2016. [Photo: 163.com]

On the other hand, service providers are threatened by disorderly parking of bikes, theft, and sabotage. Take Beijing for example, at least seven cases of sabotage have been reported in December alone. In November, over 100 share bikes were impounded by the urban management department of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, because they were illegally parked in public and thus violated the Administration regulations of City Appearance and Environment Sanitation of the city.

To deal with the problems, Mobike said they have staff patrols and checks the bikes. It has also set a 100 credit score for users. Penalty points will be taken in the case of bad behavior. Once the score drops below 80, bike rental fees will be increased.

Guo Jianrong, secretary-general of Shanghai's Bicycle Association, said they have organized some companies to work out a unified industry standard by the first half of 2017. The municipal authorities are also drafting a guideline to regulate and manage publicly shared bikes.



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