Regulators pledge strict control of electric scooters over safety concerns

Updated 2016-12-27 09:26:38 Global Times

Chinese government authorities are calling for new unified standards to regulate the country's booming electric scooter industry.

During a joint inquiry meeting of the 25th session of the 12th Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress on Saturday, the heads of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) expressed their intention to strengthen the regulation in the electric scooter industry.

Miao Wei, minister of the MIIT, said in the meeting that a new unified standard would be issued to better regulate the market, requiring electric scooters to be registered with the Ministry of Public Security in accordance with the motor vehicle rules, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily's report on Sunday.

Scooter riders must obtain licenses as car drivers do, Miao said. He noted that under the guidance of a unified standard, authorities from different areas could take their own measures based on local situations.

The electric scooter, usually with two wheels but sometimes with three or four, is widely adopted by seniors and office workers in big cities for their daily commute.

SAIC Director Zhang Mao said in the meeting that 80 percent of two-wheel electric scooters on the roads are problematic, either running too fast or having bad quality. The three- and four-wheeled ones that resemble motor vehicles are full of potential risks when they are running in the bike lanes, the Beijing Business Today reported on Saturday.

Regulations differ among cities. Some cities like Shanghai have banned electric scooters, while others encourage the use of them, according to media reports.

The MIIT has reported problems in managing these vehicles to the State Council, China's cabinet.

To upgrade the industry, companies will be moved out of the sector in accordance with the quality standards applied in the electric car industry, according to a post on the website of the MIIT in October.

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