Bike sharing business is big in China, especially after the smog concerns that have been haunting the citizens for quite some time. But in China, bike-sharing providers don’t work like the ones at New York’s Citi Bike. You don’t have to place the bike in a dock. Instead, you can simply find one with your app, ride it, and leave it by the curbside when you’re done.
While this may be more convenient, there is a significant downside to it. The vandalizing, destroying or dumping of these bikes after use is a serious emerging issue. People have been rather careless with the usage; leaving the bikes on the sidewalks without realizing that they are blocking the sidewalks, and even causing traffic hazards due to their callous attitude.
These astonishing pictures of massive piles of bikes in Shenzhen say it all, as several bike-sharing startups have launched a rather creative protest against the malpractice, They have stacked hundreds and thousands of bikes on the street corners in the hopes of raising awareness about the criminal attitude by the users.
Florian Bohnert, CEO of Mobike which is one of the bike providers, said that the pile is created with the help of a condo facility’s management personnel.
“The Shenzhen government is most proactive in supporting us…This kind of behavior is isolated, but also criminal,” he said.
Nuisance caused by inconsiderate users, misuse, and theft, have been a huge problem for the bike companies as well as the city administration, who on Tuesday had to round-up bikes that were left by the streets and walkways, blocking the sidewalks. The authorities also had to stop selling the stolen bicycles from bike-sharing companies to minimize the crisis, with many online marketplaces like Taobao also placing such bans.
Social media has also been filled with people uploading pictures of bikes thrown in the rivers or even up in trees.
All these incidents have occurred even when the bikes from Mobike, ofo, and Bluegogo are trackable through their GPS units. The companies do take note of their inventory, including the bikes that get vandalized, but they haven’t released any data on how many of them get destroyed every year.
And even though Mobike offers their users incentives like ride credits for rescuing stranded bikes but the efforts to secure bikes are still in vain.
How do you think the situation can be improved? Comment below!