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E-bike operator suspends services, refunds deposits

Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2017-12-29

A SHARED-BIKE operator in Shenzhen has suspended its operation in the city and refunded deposits to its registered users.

Those who haven’t received their refund due to a technical Internet problem, or changing their bank cards, can call 400-626-8082, go to the office of Shenzhen Qianhai Youshi Science and Technology Co. or Exit B of Gaoxinyuan Metro Station to get the refund, the operator said at a news conference Wednesday.

The announcement was made six months after the US-Bike app-based bikes, with an auxiliary internal battery system, were put into use in June.

The operator had put 800 bicycles into the market and accumulated a total of 76,000 registered users.

As the bikes are assisted by electricity to save energy while pedaling, they are categorized as e-bikes and were ordered by city authorities to be recalled, according to the operator.

The battery system can assist a rider for about 80 kilometers and the service provider maintains the power supply for the battery. The bike is also equipped with automatic sensing lamps for night riding.

“Statistics showed the bikes had good performance and were widely accepted for their good quality. At present, we have started to make a project and plan to release an updated version,” founder and CTO of the company, Huang Chuxiong, said.

The operator claimed the business suspension wasn’t caused by funding difficulties, but instead by current technical regulations. The company stressed it would expand in other cities like Chengdu, Changsha and Wuhan.

According to the decade-old national standard that took effect in 1999, bikes should weigh within 20 kilograms and their speed should be limited to 20 kilometers per hour.

Huang hopes the government will modify the rule and apply a clearer distinction between e-bikes and electricity-aided bikes.

So far, there are no rules or technical standards about bikes that are powered by pedaling and assisted by battery. The city is working on some technical and operational standards for app-based bikes with safety as the top priority.

“Their six-month operation proved the safety and comfort of US-bikes, so the government should make new rules on the management of battery-assisted bikes by referring to measures in developed countries,” Huang said.

Huang hopes the company will be able to return to the Shenzhen market in the near future, once battery-assisted app-based bikes are considered a type of app-based bikes under new technical standards.

(Han Ximin)