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Bike-sharing companies should stay open to gov't dialogue: Ofo CEO

By Ma Si in Boao, Hainan | | Updated: 2017-03-26 17:35

Bike-sharing companies should have the will to take on responsibility when problems emerge and maintain an active dialogue with the government, said Dai Wei, CEO of ofo, a rapidly-growing player in the sector.

The comments came as several cities in China are considering regulating the booming sector amid worries that urban streets may be overloaded with bicycles and that bike-sharing's rapid growth will bring security concerns.

"We should play an active role in communicating with government agencies and realize that they are quite supportive of innovation. It is just that the two sides need to work together to solve problems," Dai said at a panel discussion during the Boao Forum for Asia on Sunday.

According to Dai, the bike-sharing market in Beijing, Shanghai and other first-tier cities in China is far from saturated.

"As we increase rental bicycles there, the usage rate per bike is still growing," Dai said.

The Shanghai Bicycle Association estimates that more than 280,000 rental bikes are in service in Shanghai, with the number expected to reach 500,000 by June.

Earlier this month, Shanghai launched a draft guide for bike-sharing service providers, the first of its kind in China, to regulate the sector. It states that rental bikes that have been in service for three consecutive years must be discarded as unserviceable and may not come back into service.

Dai's comments were echoed by other entrepreneurs who attended the Boao Forum for Asia on Sunday.

Huang Wei, CEO of Zhuanzhuan, a platform for sharing second-hand items, said China's sharing economy has entered into a new stage where internet companies should not be afraid of regulation.

"We should step up cooperation with local governments to cultivate trust among people, which will pave the way for more robust growth of the sharing economy in China," he added.

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