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China's Top Bike-Sharing Company Rolls Into UK
But bicycle boom brings headaches with it (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 467)
Jun 14, 2017 Style & Living
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China's leading bike-sharing company Mobike is riding into Europe with their UK launch in Manchester and Salford.

The GPS-tracked "smart" bicycles, which can be locked anywhere and unlocked using a smartphone app, will roll out in the UK on June 29. Tencent-backed Mobike said on Monday that it would begin with 1,000 bikes and ramp up to meet demand, in the company's first foray outside of Asia. The company expects to launch in more European cities in the next few months.

However. the last miles convenience also brings headaches with it. Back in its original home, there are now more than 1 million shared-bikes in Shanghai, with 13 million registered users, and that is causing problems with urban management and consumer rights protection, an official said recently. The boom in renting bicycles has brought complaints about vandalism, rider violations and parking, said Guo Jianrong, Secretary General with the Shanghai Bicycle Industry Association. Many bikes are found cluttering up pedestrian walkways and are parked in lanes set aside for cycling, he added. Furthermore, cyclists themselves often find it difficult to withdraw the prepaid money in their accounts, Guo told senior lawmakers with Shanghai People's Congress, the city's legislative body. He was speaking at a public hearing looking at the enforcement of the city's consumer rights protection regulations.

The total deposit from renting bike users has topped 3 billion yuan (US $440 million), and that should be under strict supervision of the government, Guo said. The industry leader Mobike, for instance, had over 6 million registered users in Shanghai with 1.8 billion yuan on deposit, he added. "If any of the bike-sharing companies go bankrupt, a large number of consumers will be unable to recover the deposit money," Guo told legislators.

To help resolve the problems, the city government along with the association has made three sets of standards on the bike sharing service and the bikes' quality. Safety requirements include stipulations that users be from 1.45 to 1.95 metres tall; a shared bike being scrapped after three years of use and bike sharing hot lines available day and night. Moreover, the service standard has stipulated that local bike-sharing companies must return the deposit and prepaid fees to consumers within seven days, with no excuses, if asked to do so, Guo said.

The convenience and tech-savvy coolness of the new bikes has sparked a resurgence in cycling in China, where the popularity of bikes during the communist era declined after middle-class consumers turned to cars. As for the UK: "I want to see many more people swapping their cars for bikes in Greater Manchester," said greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham. However he added that "This scheme… is an untested idea in the UK and we will need to keep this under review."

What is the worry for the Shanghai Bicycle Industry Association regarding bike deposits?
the speed of refunds
if a bike-sharing company goes bankrupt, consumers will be unable to recover their money
the deposit is currently not under strict supervision of the government
all of theses
What are the city's current problems with bike hiring?
vandalism
parking
rider violations
all of the above
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help


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able to be used


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officially not allow


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not able to pay back money they owe


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a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

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a period of great prosperity or rapid economic growth


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crowd (something) untidily; fill with clutter


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supporter or believer in the principles of communism


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show unhappiness about an event or situation


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people who buy goods and services for their own use


n.消费者

cool-ness

imperturbability, nervelessness, iciness


n.凉意

cult

something really popular amongst a group of people


n.礼拜    

cyc-ling

riding a bicycle


v.骑自行车

cy-clist

a person who rides a bicycle


n.骑行者

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a steady drop in numbers or amount


n.下降

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become lower or less, say you will not do something

 


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hard, not easy


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a sudden attack or incursion into another’s territory, especially to obtain something; a raid


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go-vern-ment

the ruling body of a nation, state or community


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the making of goods or services


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having the power to make laws


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dealing with and controlling things or people


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the first


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someone walking or traveling on foot


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pop-u-la-ri-ty

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how good something is


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not long ago


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a rule or directive made and enforced by an authority


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need


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things that are needed or wanted


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an increase or revival after a period of little activity or popularity


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rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


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scheme

a large-scale systematic plan


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solve

find an answer

 


v.解决

stan-dard

the normal amount


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stip-u-la-tions

a condition or requirement that is specified or demanded as part of an agreement


n.规定
 

strict

follow the rules exactly


严格

ur-ban

city area


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van-da-lism

action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property


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the act of doing something not allowed


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vi-o-la-tions

the breaking of a rule or law


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sight, seeing


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