Expect to see a lot of new rental bikes on the streets of Canton in the coming months as three shared bike operators – Mobike, Hellobike and Qingju – were recently granted permission to add shared bicycles in Guangdong’s capital city. Guangzhou is notably the first Chinese municipal government to lift a ban on the flow of rental bikes into the city, Technode reports.
The Guangzhou Transportation Bureau announced the winners for shared bike bids, which will see 400,000 rental bikes added to the mix over the next three years. The bureau notes that the area of operation for these bikes must stay within the city’s six major districts: Tianhe, Haizhu, Yuexiu, Liwan, Baiyun and Huangpu.
So, which bicycles can we expect to scan-to-ride?
Mobike. Image via Sina
Hellobike. Image via Sina
Qingju. Image via Sina
The city awarded the biggest allotment to the folks at Mobike, which will be allowed to add 180,000 new bikes to their Guangzhou fleet. Hellobike is eligible to add 120,000, while Qingju, a newcomer operated by Didi Chuxing, can add 100,000 bicycles to city streets.
One notable company that wasn’t given a quota: Ofo.
We can understand the city government’s reluctance to grant Ofo another opportunity, as so many of the company’s bikes can still be seen littered around the city. According to Technode, the reason Ofo was left on the sidelines was because it was blacklisted after defaulting on debts in 2018.
Meanwhile, there’s still a disturbingly long wait for former Ofo riders to reclaim their security deposits. One Weibo user shared a screenshot that shows her waiting behind 12,307,302 other users to get her money back. “I’m just a college student, can you return my security deposit sooner? It’s almost been a year,” she wrote in her post.
Image via @溢楠啊/Weibo
Qingju looks to be replacing Ofo as the latest bike-sharing service to penetrate Guangzhou’s market. The service launched in early 2018, with residents in neighboring Dongguan and Foshan piloting the platform. After being shut down by the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission on the same day they launched their operation in August 2018, the Guangzhou-based company was called out by the Beijing Transport Bureau in May for adding 3,000 Qingju bikes without obtaining approval from the city government.
It looks like they can now ship those bicycles down to Canton.
[Cover image via @信息时报/Weibo]