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China's bike sharing boom generates 70,000 new jobs

Posted on in Cycles News

China's national English language newspaper the People's Daily reports China's flourishing bike share sector generated the equivalent of 1% of all the new jobs in China.

Bike share chinaAccording to the Employment Research Report of the Bicycle-Sharing Industry by the State Information Centre of China, the new recruits are working as bicycle-sharing employees and bicycle manufacturing workers, as well as maintenance staff and logisticians. In the first half of 2017, newly created jobs in the industry reached nearly 70,000.

Over the past year, several Chinese startups have deployed tens of millions of bikes in cities across the country that can be rented cheaply on a smartphone. The low cost and flexibility is attracting tens of millions of rides every day, as people look for alternatives in China's traffic-clogged cities.

As of June 2017, China had 106 million shared bicycle users making nearly 50 million journeys every day. The report also said that around 16 million shared bicycles were on the streets of China by the end of July.

Earlier this year China's State Council praised the growth of bike share, with Premier Li Keqiang commenting "We should give credit to the sharing economy as a reinvigorating force in China's economic growth."

However, with such huge growth, some of the biggest Chinese cities are now trying to curb public hazards by banning new bikes to the popular schemes.

In a statement, the Municipal Transportation Commission also said it would begin efforts to clean up parking.
Bikes in big cities are often abandoned, thrown haphazardly on streets and kerbs.

It said the Commission would look at regulating shared bike schemes, including guidelines for parking spaces.
In most cases, bikes are fitted with a GPS chip, allowing users to locate a bike. They pay for the hire with their smartphones and then unlock it - sometimes using a QR code.

Once they have finished the journey, customers can leave the bike anywhere.

That has led to some problems in cities, and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Wuhan are among the places that have enforced bans on new share bikes.

Earlier this week, state media reported that the number of shared bikes in Wuhan's urban districts was approaching 700,000, far exceeding the city's capacity of 400,000.

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