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Chinese discard hundreds of cycles-for-hire in giant piles

January 17, 2017

Chinese discard hundreds of cycles-for-hire in giant piles

Staff and agencies
Tuesday 17 January 2017 10.09 GMT

It has been billed as a hi-tech bike-sharing boom that entrepreneurs hope will make them rich while simultaneously transforming China’s traffic-clogged cities.

But, occasionally, dreams can turn sour.

In the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, more than 500 bicycles for hire have been found dumped in huge piles on the streets, according to reports.

Pictures showed jumbled stacks of vehicles nearly three metres high, with handlebars, baskets and other parts scattered on the ground.

City streets around the country have seen an explosion of the colourful bikes that users can rent on demand with a smartphone app and then park wherever they choose.

The sharing economy is taking off in China, where ride-sharing and Airbnb are increasingly commonplace.

From Shanghai to Sichuan province, bike-sharing schemes are being rolled out in an effort to slash congestion and air pollution by putting a country once known as the “Kingdom of Bicycles” back on two wheels.

Companies such as Ofo and Mobike, with their rival fleets of bumblebee yellow and fluorescent orange bikes, have been locked in a cut-throat battle for customers.

But problems have arisen when clients have abandoned their cycles.

Read more at The Guardian.

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