Mobike losing its bikes to Mexico's drug dealers, report says

Residents in a Mexican neighbourhood told Reuters thieves are stealing the orange two-wheelers to move drugs.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong
2 min read

Mobike's signature orange bikes are reportedly used for purposes other than solving your first- and last-mile problems in Mexico.


It looks like some of those in Mexico really want Mobike's orange two-wheelers to themselves.

It's only been about three months, but bike thieves in Mexico are already threatening to bring Mobike's business to a screeching halt, Reuters reported Thursday.

Thieves are apparently using the Chinese bike-sharing service's bikes to "move drugs," residents in Tepito, Mexico, told the publication, which said it found nearly 60 bikes in the neighbourhood notorious for black markets peddling "clothing, pirated films and illegal drugs."

These bikes "never left" Tepito, Reuters added, which could be the reason users are unable to easily find Mobikes in the company's operating zones, according to complaints made online.

Mobike isn't alone in fighting bike theft. Google, which provides its staff an internal dockless bike-sharing scheme within its Californian compound, also saw hundreds of its Gbikes disappear every week.

In addition to theft, cases of bike abuse including vandalism and errant parking have plagued several countries. In Europe, Hong Kong-based bike-sharing operator GoBee left Brussels in Belgium and Lille, Paris and Reims in France after it found over half of its bikes subjected to theft or abuse.

Mobike needs a solution fast or it risks the same consequences its competitors have faced elsewhere. Theft became a problem too huge for Wukong Bikes in China -- one of the world's biggest bike-sharing markets -- which shuttered its business after losing 90 percent of its bikes in five months last year.

Bike-sharing providers are not alone in facing these issues, though, with e-scooters in San Francisco also facing mistreatment.

CNET has reached out to Mobike for a comment.

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