E-Bikes confiscated in the French Concession area
Shanghai’s wonderfully fast, silent, and dangerous electric scooters (most of which could generously be considered Vespa knock-offs) may be in for some tough times ahead. According to the letter of the law, e-bikes capable of speeds higher than 20kph have been illegal since the 1990’s, but enforcement has been nonexistant until now.
Details are still sketchy, but it appears as though Shanghai police may be starting to take the e-bike law more seriously. UnTours Shanghai investigated the crackdown after a friend’s scooter was confiscated:
The police have been setting a “trap” up at the corner of Xiangyang Lu & Huaihai Lu, in the former French Concession area, stopping riders of all types of electric bikes, issuing a fine, and ultimately confiscating the bikes. […]
It’s not clear if this is an isolated crackdown, or if we’ll see more of it, but it’s something to be aware of. Technically e-bikes going greater than 20kph appear to be banned already, and this may have been strengthened recently in local legislation.
After the e-bike was confiscated, my friend went to pick it up and properly register the bike. After a series of paperwork and steps and about 250rmb fines (including 10rmb/day storage fee for every day they have your bike), the final step was to officially register the bike. The attendant told him there was no way to register this type of bike “and to take it home and use it as decoration in the garden.” Nice!
Anyways, they’ll let you drive home, so its just a matter of risking getting caught up in these traps. Also, Chinese people do seem to be aware of the law, as his neighbors told him in spring to sell the bike as they would be outlawed soon.
These reports are hearsay at best, but there is growing internet chatter concerning confiscated electronic scooters in the city, so if you’ve been zipping around faster than 20kph, it may be a good idea to dump the bike and/or make room for a new garden decoration.