Bike Sharing Service Ofo Expands to Korea… Beta Program to Begin in Busan

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Station-free bicycle sharing service Ofo will launch its services in Korea, its 21st client country. On January 25th, the Chinese bike sharing company revealed that its beta service will begin in Busan.

Ofo is an unmanned bike rental service with an automated information system that does not require a cradle or a kiosk. The service searches for nearby bicycles through a mobile application and uses QR code to lock and unlock bicycles.

Ofo plans to begin its service in Busan and expand its coverage throughout the Gyeongsang region. Its competitor Mobike began its service based in Suwon, Gyeonggi. The exact pricing is yet to be decided, but it is expected to be similar to Mobike’s current prices — a 5000 KRW deposit, and a fee of 300 KRW per ride.

Citing on its experience in launching shared bike services in 20 countries including China, Ofo said it will have a positive impact on Korea’s transportation culture and resolve the “last mile problem.” The company is further discussing ways to build bicycle culture with local government offices including Busan City Hall and Nam-gu office.

Head of Asia Pacific office at Ofo Lawrence Cao commented, “we are delighted to begin 2018 by launching our brand in Korea, the 21st overseas market of Ofo.” He added that “Ofo’s station-free shared bike system will be an important key to relieving public traffic congestion and overcrowded subway cars, along with the Korean government’s objective of reducing the use of cars. Bicycles will be an ideal and comprehensive system for the community. For tourists, bicycles will serve as a means of enjoying Korea’s beautiful scenery, treasured heritage, and culture.”

Meanwhile, the launch of Ofo in Korea has been carried out in accordance to its plan to expand its operations to 250 cities in 20 countries by 2017. Currently, Ofo provides its service in more than 250 cities in 21 countries, including Korea. There are 10 million operating bicycles and 32 million daily transactions. The cumulative number of users was 200 million, more than 60 billion ride transactions.
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Jiwon is a tech writer, software engineer, data analyst, and a fan of any new tech invention. He is currently studying Computer Science and Statistics at Johns Hopkins researching computer vision. He believes that tech is the new superpower of our time, and he wants to do anything to further its development. You can reach Jiwon at jiwon.shin@techforkorea.com

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