Chinese bikershering on the example of Mobike and ofo

So far as I have been living in Shanghai for some time, I decided to highlight the phenomenon popular in China over the past 3 years - bikking - The bike rental system without base stations which, unlike the previous ones, are not tied to specific places in the city, i.e. they can be taken anywhere, and left in any place where it is generally allowed to leave bicycles.

I describe only two great companies, because they are now the most common in Shanghai and it was them that I personally used, these are Mobike and ofo , their sites, respectively, and Both companies have apps for iOS and Android. Ofo also has a web version of the application.

A bit of history

The founder of mobike - Hu Weiwei 胡 玮 炜 (1982 year of birth)

Mobike company




Ofo company

The founder of ofo is Dai Wei 戴 威 (in 2016, it was 25 years old). From 2015 start in Beijing.



Also on the store there is a little about the history , and about the use of the application .

Types of bikes

In general, on the streets of Shanghai you can find a huge number of different common bicycles, incl. with a battery, the pedals of which are not necessary to turn, and also not tied to specific points of the city. There is also a lot of parking with bikes that must be taken and left at such stops.

For example, in this photo you can see at least 4 types of such bicycles: green, yellow, blue, silver-orange.

According to in the first half of 2017, there will already be more than half a million such bicycles in Shanghai.

Yellow is ofo, and silver-orange is mobike.

In ofo in different regions and countries there may be different versions (6 pieces), bicycles, but on personal experience I can distinguish two versions: the old ones (without a sim card and a gps module) with a mechanical lock (almost all of them have been utilized in Shanghai or lie in ravines) , and new (with access to the network and gps) and electronic lock. Height of the harnesses can be adjusted. Air chambers (in the new great already, like, airless). Great are very light. Transmission chain. Wheels ordinary with knitting. Power smart locks new great battery.

In a mobike , there are also a couple of versions, although there were more of them, but now there are just two in the city - heavy 25kg. (which are also hard to find), in which the original, non-spoke wheels (if you twist them, you can’t put them on another one), there is no chain, power supply from the generator while pedaling, and in general they look futuristic and light 17kg. and knitting, it is much more convenient to ride them, as they are easier, powered by battery locks, and its charging from a solar battery in a basket. In both versions of the mobike there is gsm and gps modules, and there is also bluetooth, which is turned on to unlock great. On some you can adjust the height of the seat, on some you can not. Airless chambers. In the application there is a call function to facilitate the search is great, and there is a speaker in the bike accordingly.

Registration and payment

Accounts are tied to the phone number (which can then be replaced without problems) and to a specific person on the passport (in the application, fill in the passport photo and photo as you hold it) for the foreigner, or to the ID card () for the Chinese.

You make a deposit (which you can return if you later refuse the service), for a mobike - 299 yuan, ofo - 99 yuan, you are given a couple of coupons for a free trip. In reality, for both companies, almost more than half of the days are some kind of promotions and trips are free. Then you throw a deposit, and if the amount is not quite small, you can put more in the account, for example, in a mobike throwing 100 yuan, in the account credited 200 yuan.

For each trip, either 0.5 or 1 yuan for half an hour, depending on the type, is removed (you can see on the map), and everything is rounded up to half an hour.

With their regular promotions, even though I use large amounts every day, I personally will never spend my 200 yuan. And very many, by the way, wonder how they even earn then. So far, they only invest.

How to use them

In general, the scenario is the following: you open the application, you see a big one on the map nearby and you go to it, then you scan the QR code and the email opens great. Castle. You sit down and go, when you arrive, snap the lock with your hands, and you go about your business.

More often it is even easier: you exit, you see great, you open the application you scan, you sit down (in the case of ofo you will need to enter the lock code yourself first). Came, closed the lock. I went about my business.

In practice, not all of them are shown on the map, instead of scanning, you can manually enter a number that is large, some are broken, but they are shown on the map, you can reserve a mobike 5 times a day for 15 minutes so that they won't be intercepted while you are go to them. Some are hidden in garages and fences, and this is not always clear from the map.

Personal experience using

For a couple of months of using bicycles of both companies, I managed to realize some moments.
The lack of gsm and gps modules in the ofo old version made them not very attractive, because in the application it was not visible large on the map, and in general it served only as a password vault for locks. If the ofo of the old version erases its number, then you will no longer be able to see the code of its lock, and the one who erased this number essentially becomes the “master” of such a great number, since only he now knows the code of the lock, and ofo cannot do it track if the last user no longer indicates in the application that he is using this great (does not scan his QR code), and he doesn’t need to do this anymore, since he just remembered the code. Although, as I wrote above, there are almost no such greats left now, now everything is with a smart lock.

In the photo ofo old version with an erased number. The front room is torn from him.

Problems of use

The unlocked bike lock of one of the competitors ofo and Mobike.

In addition to the above problems, there are a lot of others. People do not feel responsible, do not care about bicycles. In the network you can find photos of literally mountains of broken yellow and orange bicycles.

Some users throw them where and how horrible, although mainly due to the fact that they are broken.

Breakdowns are not immediately visible at first glance, while the ofo also needs to touch the camera to make sure that the wheels are not lowered. The seat may not be fixed, but without a key it can not be fixed. Something is bent somewhere, hand brakes, etc. do not work or work poorly. etc.

In the morning, all the big people come down to the subway, and in the evening, on the contrary, they are driving around the courtyards, so in the morning and in the evening it can be difficult to find great. It happens in the evening, he came, for example, to the barber shop, got his hair cut, but he wasn’t great, and it wasn’t always easy to find him nearby. never know if you can find great.

Methods of solving problems by companies

Firstly, it is the registration link to the passport, so that the same person could not register many accounts. Then, in both of the applications of both companies, a points system is maintained. Initially, it is given 100 points each and then it is charged according to a point per trip, or 20 points are deducted for improper parking. Also added a couple of points for the denunciation of the wrong parking. When the points become less than 80, you will not be able to use the service. For malicious violations, such as using your own castle or making changes to a great one, balls are written off to zero.

The mobike and greats of the new version of ofo, locks with built-in gps and gsm, have a squeaker that is activated if you tap on a lock with a closed lock.

In order for users to leave large in crowded places, both companies use bonus systems - great in some areas are shown as bonus (red envelopes or something similar), i.e. if you go and put them in a public place, you can get a cash bonus, which can be withdrawn from the application.

A bit of photo detailing

The new versions of mobike and ofo are equipped with smart locks with gsm and gps modules. However, in the current version ofo large, you must manually enter the lock code (using the keyboard with numbers 1-4).

Great ofo

When analyzing the smart lock ofo, users noticed that Manganese Li-Oxide (LiMn2O4, LMO) batteries are used for which the recharge cycle is limited, and this is one of the factors of the low cost ofo of large - according to some data on the network - 300 yuan.

Seen sim card China Unicom. Also, users of the site on which they posted these photos noticed that there are no Beidou modules in the castle - the Chinese navigation system, but earlier it was announced that they will be in these greats.

Mobike old version (25 kg.)

The first number is the city identifier, in this case 021 is Shanghai. Smart lock heavy Mobike charged from the movement of the pedals. And before, it was often possible to find great without visible external damage, which, however, did not open through the application (a message was shown that it was not working great), perhaps this was due to a dead battery. In general, according to tianyancha , mobike already has 32 patents.

Description of one of the mobike patents - a patent for an anti-theft system for 2-3 wheeled vehicles.

Mobike light version 17kg .

Smart lock.

In the light version of the castle powered by a solar panel at the bottom of the basket.

Wheels as in the old version are tubeless.


Many cities in China suffer from polluted air, so in general, for China bikeshering is a very necessary thing, because allows you to relieve traffic on the roads and reduce the number of exhaust gases from cars. For residents of large cities, the current cost of rent and the amount of collateral can be considered not large. On the one hand, they are very convenient when they want, then they sat on a big one, and you can leave it anywhere, on the other hand, you are not always sure that you can find a big one, especially in the evening or in the morning.

In Beijing, car carsharing electric cars have already been launched, and in general, I like the tendency to create things of common use - sharing, it would be great if any thing could be taken free of charge or for a symbolic price, and after use it could be returned back to where it could be take any man. This is very similar to the concept of libraries of things, which I learned from the book of Jacques Fresco - "All the best that you can not buy money."

Now, for example, there are a lot of books in private libraries, but if they were all driven into a database on which everyone could freely search and apply for a fence, then they could be found by them, or those who would translate them into electronic format. . The same applies to other non-disposable things. Surely, many of us made a purchase, and after a short period of using the thing, we forgot about it, and it was gathering dust in your home, although it could be used by those who might need it at that time.

Of course, I realize that there are many legal and not only problems on the way of such an idea, but it seems to me that they are solvable. The most important obstacle standing in the way of such libraries of things is the irrational distribution and use of the riches of our Earth, as well as the imposed culture directly related to inequality, a culture which for the most part convinces everyone that the most important thing in life is to earn as much money as possible way and at whose expense - it does not matter.

However, I think that for many categories of goods the time has come when they can be combined into such “libraries of things”, so far I can only see a pitiful similarity of such an idea, for example, the site Daudar. If a thing can be used hundreds of times, it is not quite right to give it to one person, hoping that he will remember it and re-give it to someone else, it would be more appropriate to organize its transfer to the public domain, or rather to the ownership of the service that could track what happens to the thing and organize the transfer to the next owner in time.

Mountain bike waiting for their owners.
This is the courtyard of one of the educational institutions in the city of Hefei, Anhui Province. All of these bikes belong to the local bicycle sharing system.


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