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Shanghai authorities to regulate bike sharing to keep away children

Authorities in Shanghai responsible for municipal education and transportation on Friday spoke to major bike sharing startups, including Mobike and ofo, on regulating bicycle riding by children.

Various measures will be put in place, including putting notices on the bikes to inform users, and prohibiting these startups from dispensing bikes around elementary schools and other areas dominated by children.

Bike sharing was the hottest area in China’s tech sector over 2016, when investors and startup founders were keen to find the next big market after ridesharing, and saw more investment opportunities in bringing convenience to city residents. Streets in Chinese cities are teeming with bikes of different colors, each company representing itself with a different color. Mobike has 3 million monthly active users, while its rival ofo has 2 million registered users, with services active across 21 cities.

Mobike in Shanghai. Photo from Baidu Images.

Young bicycle riders can pose a greater risk to public security. There were 245 traffic accidents involving children under 12 years old riding a bicycle in Shanghai over 2016, Chinese news portal NetEase reported.

China’s laws and regulations require bike riders to be older than 12 to ride on the road. Whether everyone will adhere to these laws is a different question entirely.

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