(ECNS) -- Bicycle rental companies are encouraged to provide a deposit-free service, and should require users to register their real names in order to use shared bikes, said China's Ministry of Transport.
The ministry began to solicit public opinion Monday on a guideline to encourage and regulate the growth of Internet-based bike rental services.
According to the guideline, companies that collect deposits or down payments must accept supervision to ensure the money will be used for these designated purposes only, while a refund mechanism must also be set up.
Shared bikes are an important component of cities' green transport systems and provide the public with convenient short-distance transport solutions, said the document. It calls for a coordinated development of the shared bike industry, while discouraging online rentals of electric bikes, for which national safety standards remain absent so far.
It urged companies to strengthen online and offline capacity building and improve allocation and management of shared bikes. Companies are forbidden to offer the service to children under 12, and should also buy required insurance policies for users.
Cities are required to reasonably plan for share-bike networks and parking facilities to address issues such as random parking, said the guideline.
On the other hand, companies are required to adopt electric fence systems for shared bikes, so users who park bikes outside allocated areas will be unable to lock them and continue to be charged.