A grim picture of errant bike-sharing

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

What might look like the close-up of an intricate painting is actually an aerial shot of thousands of bicycles lined up on a field in Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province.

The bicycles belong to the many bike-sharing businesses that have boomed there in recent times.

They were seized by the local authorities after Hangzhou residents left the shared bikes wherever they liked. Being able to drop off the bicycles anywhere is a convenience offered by the companies. But it has led to thousands of bikes being abandoned all over the city, including in streets, parks and under overpasses, where they block paths and are a public nuisance.

More than 20,000 of them are said to have been rounded up by the police this year and hauled into 16 corrals around the city, reported Wired magazine.

The bike-sharing firms have been alerted, but they have been slow to reclaim the bicycles, said Australian news site news.com.au

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2017, with the headline 'A grim picture of errant bike-sharing'. Print Edition | Subscribe