China Is Still Sorting Through Its Colorful Bike-Share Graveyards

Back in March, I posted “The Bike-Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles,” showing just some of the millions of bicycles that had been rapidly built and dumped into Chinese cities by bike-share companies looking to get in on the next big thing, only to crash hard. In the months since, more of those bike-share startups have gone bankrupt or consolidated, and the bicycle graveyards remain. Municipal governments are still wrangling with the fallout, confiscating derelict or illegally parked bikes, crafting new laws, and working out what to do with millions of abandoned bicycles. In a few cases, plans have been announced to refurbish and distribute some of the bikes to smaller neighboring towns, in others, wholesale recycling has begun, and bicycles are being crushed into cubes. The scale of the situation was so large to begin with, it will be a long time before the bicycle graveyards fade away.

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