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Chinese city blacklists saboteurs of shared bikes

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-25 19:10

WUHAN -- Those found to have vandalized rental bikes will be banned from using the service, as Chinese city Wuhan goes harsh on offenders.

Traffic police in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, blacklisted 216 people and banned them from using shared bikes, like Mobike or ofo, for at least three months, police announced Tuesday.

The vandalism included scratched QR codes, purposeful damage, keeping the bikes in areas inaccessible to others using the service, or carrying people in the baskets, police said.

The list has been compiled by traffic police and shared bike companies, police said.

Shared vehicles, such as GPS-enabled bikes, are now commonplace on many Chinese streets. There are now more than 10 million shared bikes, operated by over 30 companies across the country. Mobike and ofo account for more than 90 percent of the market.

Authorities estimate there are about half a million shared bicycles on the roads of Wuhan. Bikes cluttering sidewalks, poor management and bad cycling etiquette are a headache for traffic police.

Shanghai and Tianjin have drafted regulations on shared bike companies. The rules specify a service life of three years for the bikes and demand that companies hire at least one maintenance employee for every 200 bikes.

In Wuhan's new rules, vandals or unsafe riders will be banned from using the service for life. Those who park bikes on bridges, tunnels and highways without care, or allow children under the age of 12 to ride a bike will be banned for six months. Other minor offences will carry a three-month ban.

It also promised to fine offenders.

Traffic police in Wuhan will share the blacklist with shared bike companies. The firms will have to suspend the user accounts within five days of being notified.

Blacklisted riders may resume access to these bikes after they have improved their understanding of traffic rules.

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