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Asian Bike-Share Operators Desired To Be Regulated By Paris

Asian Bike-Share Operators Desired To Be Regulated By Paris
Paris plans to introduce regulation to ensure an orderly rollout of new bicycle schemes and does not want Asian bike-sharing operators to burst into the city the way Airbnb and Uber did, ay media reports quoting top city officials. .
Chinese giants Ofo and Mobike, as well as Singapore startup oBike, see entering the French capital as a key step in their plans to conquer Europe’s city centers even as Hong Kong’s has already spread its bikes all over Paris since it was launched last week.
In a string of European cities like Milan and London, some with local authority blessing, some not, the Asian bike-sharing firms have already launched their colorful dockless bikes and these companies are armed with hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital and they have already revolutionized urban transport in China.
chaos on roads and sidewalks, as has happened in China, would be the result of the uncontrolled introduction of thousands of bicycles, some cities fear. Dockless bikes can be parked anywhere and be found and unlocked with mobile apps.
Paris does not want to see bike schemes to break into an unregulated Paris market the way U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber and short-term rental firm Airbnb have in recent years and hence the city wants to control the bike schemes, said Paris deputy mayor for urban planning Jean-Louis Missika.
“We will ask the government to give the city the power to regulate under the form of a license,” Missika said on the sidelines of urban mobility conference Autonomy.
The bike operators may have to pay a license and will have to respect rules about using public space, he added.
“We do not have the required regulatory framework, just like it was with Airbnb ... and Uber before legislators created a license,” Missika said.
Apartments rented through Airbnb in Paris was made mandatory to be registered in July.
He was not too happy with the way had started operations and Paris is in favor of bike-sharing, which it has pioneered with its dock-based Velib scheme, Missika said.
“They saw a gap in the regulation and they jumped in. We cannot blame them, but that does not mean we will leave it at that,” he said.
It plans to launch its bikes in Paris around year-end, said Ofo - which has launched thousands in Milan, Vienna, Valencia and London and operates 10 million bikes in China, last week.
Including Ofo’s big Chinese competitor Mobike, several operators have contacted the city to discuss introducing their bike schemes, Missika said.
With already a team in Paris, Singapore startup oBike has alfeady launched its bikes in London, Munich, Madrid and Zurich.
“We hope to get bikes on the ground in Paris in the next few weeks,” oBike’s Amber Huang said. Several other French cities including Avignon, Marseilles and Strasbourg are also being talkled to by the company.
“We’d be happy to work with local authorities,” Huang said.
“Some other players tend to act first and talk later, put 500 bikes in a city, have a press announcement, then a few months later their bikes are being impounded,” said Florian Bohnert, head of global partnerships at Shanghai-based Mobike but declined to comment on the firm’s plans for Paris and Europe.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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