Qingju, a bike share service owned by ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, has been reprimanded by Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications and told to remove its illegal bikes from the city by the end of October, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

A Qingju representative said the company had exceeded the number of bikes it is permitted to offer customers and will make an immediate “rectification.” 

Holiday Bike-Sharing Fever 

On Sept. 30, with the nation gearing up for an eight-day national holiday, Qingju launched a "free ride" campaign in nearly 100 cities and said it was to alleviate holiday traffic congestion. The campaign allows only 20 users in each city to have a free ride for the first 30 minutes. Riders normally pay 1.5 yuan for every half-hour.

To meet holiday demand, Didi took a risk. Sources said Didi Chuxing delivered up to 100,000 Qingju share bikes to Beijing as of Sept. 28 from northern cities including Taiyuan and Shenyang where demand is not so strong.

Last year, the Beijing government capped Didi Chuxing at 125,000 Qingju share bikes as a replacement for the 250,000 Bluegogo bikes Didi owns. With an additional 100,000 Qingju bikes, Didi exceeded its quota.

In popular tourist cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing and Hangzhou, Didi has relocated about 1.5 million bikes. There have been no complaints from traffic regulators in other cities.

Competition Leaves Responsibility In The Dust

In May the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications released a report into three large bike sharing companies. Meituan scored an A for operation management and HelloBike a B. Qingju was last because of two violations and falsified data. 

Earlier this year, Qingju promised the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications it would report at least 90% of its bikes by the end of August. But according to the committee only 21% of Qingju's bikes were reported.

Analysts said the business notoriously relies on having lots of bikes to capture market share.

In July 2018, 40 locks on Qingju sharing bikes were reportedly destroyed in Kaifeng, Hainan province. Police later arrested seven people who worked for HalloBike. 

The Next Race

Analysts expect innovations in hardware and intelligent planning systems as bike-share users locate and unlock bicycles by using a smartphone app.

Didi entered the bike-sharing business in 2018 by taking over the operations of Bluegogo. In June 2019, Didi merged Bluegogo and Qingju to boost efficiency and competitiveness.

In April Didi Chuxing raised $150 million from SoftBank and Legend Capital for Qingju. It was the first time the company raised money for its bike sharing business.