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November 24, 2015

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20,000 anti-theft chips to be installed on e-bikes in suburban Shanghai

THE government of Zhoupu Town in the southeast of the city is giving away 20,000 anti-theft chips to electric bike owners in the area.

The devices can alert owners if the bikes are moved and track them down if they are stolen.

The program will later be expanded to nearby Chuansha and Kangqiao towns.

Shanghai is the third city in China to provide anti-theft chips for residents, following Dezhou in Shandong Province and Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province, according to a Xinmin Evening News report.

“I’ve lost two electric bikes so far. I hope the new technology will work,” Wu Wenhui, 32, said. “I reported the two losses to the police, but without success.”

Wu, who had a chip installed on his bike at the weekend, said there were too many electric bikes being stolen in the town and police didn’t have enough information to be able to track down every one of them.

Huang Delong, who once had the battery on his bike stolen, was hoping the device would prevent further losses. Conventional locks had failed to stop the thieves in his case.

Yang Longjuan, another local resident who had a chip fitted, said she suffered the loss of two electric bikes from her residential community despite using multiple locks.

“Electric bikes are very convenient for those of us living in suburban areas, as the bus stations here are not as many as in downtown and there are not many buses running after 7pm,” Huang said.

The program is already having an effect, with advance publicity about the free chips seeming to deter would-be thieves. Reports of stolen bikes have dropped by a third over the past month.

The chip forms part of a comprehensive alarm system connected to local police stations.

Users will be able to “lock” their bikes via a mobile phone app. If the bikes are moved, the app will alert the owner, and police can be informed with just one click. Police can then track the chip via the system, and identify the specific bike using hand-held detectors.

According to officials, a trial in Dezhou proved successful, with 70 percent of stolen chipped bikes recovered.


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