Ofo rolls out bike-sharing service in Hong Kong

December 06, 2017 17:59
Ofo bikes are shown in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 2014, China's leading bike-sharing company has more than 200 million users globally. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese bike-sharing giant Ofo said it has begun operations in Hong Kong, with Tuen Mun in the New Territories as its first location.

Unlocking Ofo bikes requires the company's mobile app. Customers can enjoy a ride after paying a HK$99 deposit. Rental charge is HK$3 per half hour, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Ofo, founded in 2014, has more than 200 million users globally. The number of daily users peaks at 32 million.

In July, the company picked up series E funding of US$700 million (HK$5.46 billion) led by Alibaba, Hony Capital, CITIC Private Equity and current investor Didi, the highest record of funding of its kind.

The company operates more than 6.4 million shared bicycles in more than 120 cities, according to mainland media reports.

Ofo has expanded into the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore and is planning to enter more than 200 cities in countries including Japan, Spain, France and Germany with 20 million shared bicycles by the end of the year.

Ketch'Up Bike launches crowdfunding

Bike-sharing started to sweep Hong Kong last year.

GoBee.Bike, which offers its bikes mainly in Sha Tin, Tai Po and Ma On Shan, is the first operator in Hong Kong.

In August, GoBee.Bike secured an initial round of funding led by venture capital firm Grishin Robotics and funded by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, raising over US$9 million. 

Other local bike-sharing operators include Hoba Bike, LocoBike and oBike.

Ketch'Up Bike, which will begin operations this month, has launched a crowdfunding effort to raise funds. The company aims to encourage investors to become bike owners and offer the shared bikes for a rental service. It has more than 300 bike owners.

To combat problems such as traffic congestion due to parking, Ketch'Up Bike developed a Bluetooth parking pole.

Rental customers who dock their bicycles within a designated range of five meters can receive a bonus. The first phase of the scheme has been implemented in Sha Tin and Kwun Tong.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec. 6

Translation by Jonathan Chong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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