Mobile bike-sharing apps in China have brought a once-dwindling population of bikes back with a vengeance to city streets - causing chaos for some. Samantha Vadas reports.
From Beijing to Shenzhen- Bicycles are causing colourful chaos in China. In the past year, dozens of companies have brought bikes back to the streets Allowing people to pick up an leave them wherever they want with a smartphone app. But with tens of millions of registered users across the country - some are taking that a little too literally. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SAMANTHA VADAS, REUTERS, SAYING: "I'm Reuters reporter Samantha Vadas in Shenzhen. I've been coming here for over 10 years and never have I seen something quite like this. The share bike market has absolutely exploded here over the past six months, so much so, it's getting out of hand On any given day you'll find bikes strewn across the footpath, dumped in bushes, even piled on top of each other, like they are behind me here. And that's caused a massive headache for share bike companies, as well as local authorities, which are now having to work together to tackle the problem." The rate of vandalism and abuse has also got residents up in arms Pictures of mountains of bikes going viral online- As people take to social media to vent their disbelief. Another big problem for share bike companies is this - people scratching out the number plates or removing them altogether so that nobody else can use the bike and they can keep it for themselves. Professor Zheng Lu says ethical and moral education is needed in China. But more importantly - rules. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) PROFESSOR ZHENG LU, SAYING: "If the cost of breaking law is so low, damaging bikes without getting punished will only allow more people to replicate such kind of illegal behavior. So I think, eventually we need a law to protect personal and corporate property right." When that will happen is anyone's guess. Chinese cities are cracking down on the industry But with tens of millions more share bikes set to hit the streets- As companies vie for a slice of the billion dollar pie- There's little sign of the problem easing anytime soon.