Authorities in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou have banned shared electric bikes, citing potential safety risks the fledgling business could pose.
Five companies operating shared electric bicycles in the city were summoned for talks by a special team consisting of staff from Hangzhou's transport bureau, the city management administration and the public security bureau. The authorities demanded that the companies stop operation and take their bikes off the roads within a fixed period.
Hangzhou authorities issued a draft guideline about the development of shared bikes in April. According to the guideline, shared electric bikes should be halted for the time being.
According to the authorities, shared electric bikes pose potential risks, including unqualified technical standards, fire-prone batteries and pollution.
Currently, about 2,590 shared electric bikes are on the roads in Hangzhou.
China now has around 70 bike-sharing brands, with more than 16 million bicycles on the streets nationwide and 130 million users, according to the Ministry of Transport.