It appears that China's finally reached peak bike-sharing. In the last month, authorities have put the brakes on expanding bicycle fleets in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen as well as ten other cities amid concerns about parking chaos, traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. In good old Beijing alone, there are currently 2.35 million shared bikes run by 15 companies, with the Ministry of Transport revealing this summer that the capital's bike-sharing market has finally reached saturation point.
Eerily tidy Mobikes.
For small bike-sharing companies, this ban means they're unlikely to survive the cutthroat nature of the bike industry. Most are predicted to be driven out of business or taken over by bike-sharing giants Mobike
, Ofo and Bluegogo, while others are preparing to move onto third or fourth-tier cities as competition in major cities becomes too great.
That's more like it.
For most of us, this ban is fairly unlikely to have any sizeable effect. 2.35 million bikes is still a helluva lot of bikes, meaning that you'll probably still be able to find the usual tangle of bikes on each corner. However for those of you still subscribed to some of the smaller bike companies, it might be time to hang up your helmet and get with Ofo or Mobike instead.