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'Uber for bikes' comes to Cambridge thanks to Chinese company
   2017-02-24 09:52:40    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Fie photo of Ofo bikes [Photo: 163.com]

By Ian Child for sino.uk

China's 'Uber for bikes' is going to drop 500 bicycles on Cambridge.
 
Didi-backed Ofo, China's largest bike-sharing operator, doesn't have docks, so users can just drop and ride whenever they like.
 
Residents of Cambridge can expect to see up to 500 bikes pop up throughout the city when Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo rolls out its hugely popular scheme across the city in March. Ofo is the largest bike-sharing operator in China, with an estimated 3 million daily users across 34 cities.
 
The launch marks the first time Ofo, or more formally Beijing Bikelock Technology Co., will hit the U.K. Other cities to have had the scheme rolled out include Singapore and Silicon Valley.
 
Much like the schemes already in place with London¡¯s Boris Bikes and Santander Cycles, riders in Cambridge will be able to hire an Ofo bike whenever they want, no matter the time of day. However, one of the main differences is that Ofo does away with the fuss of finding a docking station. Instead users can pick up and dispose of the bikes in the place and time of their choosing.
 
One of Ofo's founders, Dai Wei told WIRED: "We are the first non-docking, bike-sharing platform in the world,".
 
"You can find a bike anywhere and park it anywhere."
 
The process of hiring a bike appears to be very simple. Riders first download the app onto their smartphone, then use it to locate the nearest bike. When they get to it, they key in the bike¡¯s number, which is located on plates beneath the handlebar and seat. The app then sends a four-digit code to open the lock that¡¯s affixed to the back wheel.
 
When finished, all you need to do is find a spot where you can legally park it, flip the kickstand and lock it back up again. Regardless of the time or distances covered, the price to hire one of these bikes is just ?0.50 per ride.
 
Last September, Ofo secured $100 million in funding from firms including Didi. The Beijing-based firm has been locked in a ¡°bike-sharing battle¡± with Shanghai's MoBike, which is backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent.
 
Wei believes international expansion could be the key to success: "We want to expand to more cities, connect more bikes and serve more people,
 
"We want to be a global bike-sharing company."

 

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