An alert reader has pointed me to infor on Beijing's bike-sharing program. According to BikeRadar, "After the overwhelming success of Paris' bike rental scheme China is jumping on the bandwagon with a project five times the size of the one in the French capital. In the recent months the Beijing Government has been trialling a bike rental scheme at 31 hire stations around the capital. This week it announced its expansion, with 200 outlets planned in time for the 2008 Summer Games."
Additionally, this program has a different business plan. "As well as tackling pollution, the scheme is aimed at reducing bike theft in Beijing. Unlike in Europe, where advertising agencies have been given premium space in exchange for running rental schemes, Beijing's bike programme is being sponsored by the anti-theft arm of the municipal public security bureau and the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau. Police officer Wang Xiaobing told China Daily: 'This is like a centralized management of bicycles so that citizens won't have to worry about thefts.' "