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889

Those bikes. They're everywhere now. So suddenly. Heaps of bikes. No doubt reproducing at night.

 

If they aren't stacked every which way blocking your path they're heading straight at you ridden by blind Chinese. Or worse, swooping on you from behind like birds in a Hitchcock thriller.

 

China in recent years has prided itself on becoming a neat and orderly society. Down with messy markets and up with modern malls.

 

The government by nature wants to regulate everything. It's in the genes of every bureaucrat.

 

So how did the bike craze fall through the cracks?

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imron

I'm guessing it's all about the money.  The people funding the bikes have mountains of it, the people with the messy markets didn't.

 

Some cities are starting to crack down on the bikes now however.

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Jim

Hasn't the crackdown started already? Not allowed to introduce any new bikes now I read.

 

First time I used one I'd ridden a couple of blocks before I realised it was broken somehow and really hard to pedal. Thought it was just me getting old and unfit.

 

ETA Also saw one in a village in Shunyi about an hour by bus out of town where some cheeky sod had knocked the GPS/lock thing off and chained it up outside their own house.

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889

Back when ticket scalping was a problem you could be certain that in the run-up to Chinese New Year TV news would feature a line-up of hopeless-looking mugs who'd been snared by the police in front of the local train station selling tickets. Yet in spite of such demonstrated diligence by the authorities, scalping would always go on just as before.

 

That is, in China a well-publicized crackdown is often the surest sign there isn't really a crackdown. The louder the fanfare the greater the odds it's all just for show.

 

So I'll believe there's a crackdown on those bikes when the crackdown shows up in the streets, not the newspapers.

 

 

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roddy

They'll sort it out, I reckon. Everyone - government and the companies - has been taken by surprise by how those schemes have taken off. But they are genuinely beneficial - there's been a decrease in short car journeys and it's clear the public have taken to them.

 

How they'll eventually regulate it, I don't know. But regulate it they will - nothing gets the Chinese government aroused easier than an unregulated business sector. Off the top of my head - bike-sharing firms have to pay a per-bike fee which the municipality uses to provide extra parking spots. Users get a discount if they return a bike to a dock, rather than leaving it any old place (actually, make it a recycling thing. 1Y for anyone who takes a shared bike back to a parking spot and you'll have every gran and grandpa in the city fighting over bike-returning rights on their street). The companies pay for trucks to roam around returning bikes to where they're meant to be. Fine users for parking bikes badly. Etc.

 

 

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Angelina

Come to Hangzhou and see what it is like, bicycles everywhere. 

 

Yet, the air is clean, so I don't complain. 

 

BTW

This is what I did once, trust Little Red 小红车.

IMG_1288.thumb.JPG.7d4c0059baa23a0b91b33754c3a50426.JPGIMG_1289.thumb.JPG.f3911bd20efa79e25955adc5742f0be7.JPGIMG_1290.thumb.JPG.55e6b7a6216da4b940ba84dcab0b20d0.JPG

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realmayo
2 hours ago, roddy said:

and you'll have every gran and grandpa in the city fighting over bike-returning rights on their street

I'm not sure Chinese retirees racing each other on bikes to get the last empty parking spot and claim their 1Y would be conducive to urban harmony or indeed pedestrian safety :)

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abcdefg

They sure are convenient. I use them nearly every day here in Kunming.

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889

So unlike the old moored bikes, there's no age limit on the new shared bikes?

 

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Zbigniew

One of the problems with the Mo bikes that recently arrived in my home city is that their saddles aren't able to go up high enough to properly accommodate riders over around 5' 8".

 

These hire bikes are a reflection of social change. One of the reasons they've met with acceptance in my city (and it's possibly a reason in China too) is that more and more people nowadays live in flats or new-build houses (which are typically smaller than their older counterparts) and do not have a convenient space in which to store a bike of their own.

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abcdefg
8 hours ago, 889 said:

So unlike the old moored bikes, there's no age limit on the new shared bikes?

 

Most of them have warnings that you cannot rent under age 12. I have not noticed an upper limit, and have had to supply a photo of my ID (passport) for at least one company to register. Pretty sure that company is the one that provides the rider medical insurance in case of an accident.

 

My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that I wish the software for the several companies (4 or 5 of them now) were uniform so I didn't have to puzzle out how to work quite so many different apps. They are all somewhat similar, but still have differences that can be stumbling blocks.

 

In Kunming, we must park them in designated spots, zones actually, painted in yellow on the sidewalk. This prevents obstructing foot traffic. Kunming is in the throes of a bid to be named one of China's "cultured cities" 文明城市,and this mad push to achieve maximum orderliness may give way to jumble and sprawl once the selection process is done.

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889

"I wish the software for the several companies (4 or 5 of them now) were uniform so I didn't have to puzzle out how to work quite so many different apps."

 

Don't ask me if it works, I only read the newspapers, but there are reports that Alipay now lets you book and pay for bikes from all the major bike companies direct from the Alipay app, without having to download separates apps from each company.

 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/tech/2017-05/02/content_29157277.htm

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Angelina
3 hours ago, 889 said:

Alipay now lets you book and pay for bikes from all the major bike companies direct from the Alipay app, without having to download separates apps from each company.

 

Same with WeChat mini programs. 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, abcdefg said:

In Kunming, we must park them in designated spots, zones actually, painted in yellow on the sidewalk.

 

Excellent idea. 

 

 

 

 

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abcdefg

That's good to know. Thanks.

 

I don't have a functional Alipay account, but I do have WeChat complete with payment options 微信附报。Would like to try using it for bike rentals, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Could you explain the method, @Angelina? Not sure what you mean by WeChat mini programs. Do you mean the linked functions under the "Wallet" section of the app, similar to the ones for buying movie tickets and having food delivered? 

 

 

 

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Angelina

@abcdefg

 

WeChat mini programs were supposed to be called WeChat mini apps. After a reaction from Apple (they were afraid the mini apps would undermine their App Store, when the people from Apple are afraid there must be a reason, it is that good), there was a consensus reached on allowing this to happen, with a modified official name, WeChat mini programs/微信小程序. You can find them when you click at 发现/discover.

发现:朋友圈、扫一扫、游戏、小程序.

 

 

When you use Mobike's WeChat mini program, you can rent a bike without having to download Mobike's app. You don't even need a deposit, 免押金, only WeChat.

 

Unfortunately, this option to rent a Mobike bike without a deposit, just like Alipay's new pay-with-your-face at KFC (K PRO) function, is only available for Chinese citizens

 

 

Mini programs in general are ok for anyone, no need to have a Chinese ID. 

 

59c3e3d328b96_381506009654_.pic_hdcopy.thumb.jpg.4f135624838572eabe83508af5768d1b.jpg

 

 

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abcdefg
8 hours ago, Angelina said:

You can find them when you click at 发现/discover.

 

Many thanks, Angelina. I see it now. Had not explored that part of my WeChat before. I'll try it later today (if it stops raining.)

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Shelley

When this topic was started I was only aware of Bike sharing in other places. Now less that a week later (that's when I took the photo, took a bit longer to post here) Hey Presto, shared bikes not more than 20m from my front door. I guess it might be because I live in big University city, student population is huge, and a large percentage are chinese.

I won't be trying this service, bike riding is not for me.:shock:

HireBikes.jpg

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889

I can't tell for certain from the photos, but it looks like those bikes are locked with a lanyard to the steel barriers. In China, the bikes are locked but not attached to anything. That's why they sometimes end up in huge stacks.

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Shelley

Yes they are locked to the bike stand. I think you unlock them with some kind of app or code.

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Zbigniew

That bike scheme close to you, Shelley, didn't start out with the bikes being locked to something when not in use; vandalism drove the scheme's owners to change their policy. These Yobikes do look a lot more vulnerable to vandalism (with lots more detachable parts) than the Mobikes close to me; I think they would have fared far worse round my way than the Mobikes have, and the Mobikes have been vandalised a lot more than the Chinese owners predicted.

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