Personal Mobility

China's 'Uber for bikes' wheels into Singapore

The country is Mobike's first international venture outside China.


Chinese bike-sharing company Mobike has taken a slice of Singapore's bike-sharing market, launching its services in Singapore Tuesday to ride alongside its competitors oBike from Singapore and Ofo from China.

Mobike users can locate a bike nearby using the Mobike app and unlock it by scanning a QR code. The bikes can be rented for $0.71 every half hour and payment is made through debit or credit cards. Mobike will not require users to return bikes to specific spots like Citi Bike in New York does.

As it joins the bike-sharing race, Mobike has encountered the same issues as its competitors. A town council in Singapore recently barred rental bikes from parking at public racks, including those from Mobike. In China, there have been instances of vandalism and theft.

Mobike said it has ways to solve these issues. In addition to a system whereby users can accumulate points for good behaviour (in exchange for rewards), the Foxconn-made bikes come with a GPS system that allows the company to track the location and monitor the condition of its bikes.

Singapore is a popular destination for startups to test-bed new technologies, with bike-sharing companies flocking to the island state to offer bike-sharing services as the country begins work on a National Cycling Plan similar to ones in Paris and New York.

Mobike claims to have more than a million bicycles across 33 cities in China and 400 million rides completed since its launch last April.

International expansion is on the cards -- Mobike is exploring opportunities in Southeast Asia as well as the US and Europe.

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