Dock-less cycle-sharing group Mobike, owned by Meituan Dianping, announced that nearly 190,000 users had reported destruction and misuse of bikes through the app in 2019. Up until December of this year, the company had recorded more than 270,000 alleging reports, of which one in seven came from residents of Shanghai.
Reports this year show that misuse of bikes remains a great challenge for shared-bike providers. Many Chinese cities have issued laws targeting vandalism of bikes and other types of misuse, which could result in fines and detention for up to 15 days. In one recent case, a man in Nanchang, Jiangxi was held in detention for a fortnight for damaging bike locks. Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau reported to have investigated 2600 people and busted 10 groups for vandalism, theft, misappropriation, and re-sale of shared bikes this year.
Vandalism of shared-bikes is not limited to Chinese cities. In 2018, Mobike had to pull out of the UK, its first market outside of Asia, as bikes in Manchester were subject to widespread vandalism and theft. Mobike said that in July 2018 alone 200 – or 10 % – of its Manchester bikes were stolen or damaged, according to The Financial Times.