Bike sharing, Mobike offers free travel and no deposit in Hefei

10/05/2018

 

Hefei is the first city in China to benefit from the new system proposed by Mobike, which could be exported across the country

 

A revolution in the world of bike sharing. This is what Mobike, one of the largest operators in the sector in the world, is about to propose. Mobike, in fact, has announced free travel and the use of its bicycle network in the capital of Anhui, Hefei province without deposit.

Unlike other bike sharing platforms, users no longer have to pay to sign up or use bicycles. Furthermore, users of Hefei who have already paid a deposit can be reimbursed within the app.

Hefei is the first city in China to benefit from the new system proposed by Mobike, although it is not clear how, when and if it will be implemented in the rest of the country.

 

The issue of deposits created problems in China, with some companies using this money as an operating budget

 

The real innovation proposed by Mobike is definitely that relating to deposits. In fact, these have been at the center of many controversies in China, since they create considerable cash flows for companies. Suffice it to say that Mobike itself, in January, had about 4.21 million active users per week, which allowed an accumulation of about RMB 1.26 billion.

 

This money, as a rule, should be kept as collateral, but many companies, including Bluegogo, have shown that it is dangerous to pay deposits if the company itself fails

 

Before being partially taken over by Didi, the vice-CEO of Bluegogo Hu Yufei admitted, in fact, that the deposits were part of the company’s operating budget. The case of Coolqi, which had announced the non-return of deposits through WeChat, was also emblematic, inviting all customers to go to Chengdu, Sichuan, to get their money back.

The situation, increasingly present in China, has prompted the government to intervene. In a meeting between the transport representatives of 17 provinces held in November 2017, officials gathered to discuss how best to manage the deposit and reimbursement system.

 

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