Bike Sharing in China

Bike sharing in China refers to the bicycle sharing service provided by enterprises in campus, subway station, bus station, residential area, commercial area, public service area, etc. It is a time-sharing rental mode. Shared bicycle is a new type of green and sharing economy. Since the end of 2016, bike sharing has suddenly become popular in China, with various colors lining the roadside of major cities. Then how to use bike sharing in China? Here we offer you a complete guide.

Popular Sharing Bikes in China


Ofo is the main operator in China, which is banked by the drive APP Didi. Since its launch in June 2015, Ofo has connected 10 million shared bicycles, providing more than 4 billion services to more than 250 cities and 200 million users in 20 countries around the world. You can share your own bike from one to three years and the company is going to repaint it in yellow and put an Ofo lock and plate on them. You can get lifelong free access to all Ofo bikes.


On April 22, 2016, Beijing Mobi Technology Co., Ltd. held a conference in Shanghai to officially announce the landing of Mobi bicycle service. As of June 2017, Mobike had about 100 million registered users who completed 25 million trips per day on about 5 million smart bicycles. As of October 2017, Mobike have entered more than 180 cities in nine countries around the world, operating more than 7 million intelligent shared bicycles and more than 200 million users worldwide.


On March 11, 2017, the first batch of 50,000 Hellobikes appeared on the streets in Wuhan. On March 13, 2018, Hellobike started a nationwide credit-free ride. At the same time, in order to facilitate temporary parking during the trip, it is free to change for the first transfer every day within 15 minutes. With no deposit and easy to use, Hellobike is popular quickly. 

Preparation for Using a Sharing Bike in China

Step 1: Have a cell phone with internet connection

First, you need to have a cell phone with internet connection. For foreigners, you can use your own phone with an international roaming plan or you can purchase a China SIM card for your phone. It is very important because you need the internet to connect the bike and pay the bill. If you don’t plan to use your mobile phones while traveling in China, you won’t be able to use shared bicycles in China.

Step 2: Create an Account for Payment

For the payment, you’d better have a credit card or online payment tool such as Wechat Pay or Alipay, which are the most popular online payment in China. If you’re living in China for a longer period of time, you can open a Chinese bank account and then attach that UnionPay bank card to your WeChat account. 

You can also open up an account in your home country, add your own payment to that account and then use that account internationally in a place like China. And the charges will be made in the currency of the country where the account is registered. 

How to Use a Sharing Bike in China

Step 1: Download a bicycle-sharing app and Register.

Download the bike-sharing App which you’re interested in using. Those who currently offer Apps in a non-Chinese language are Mobike and Ofo. Then you need to register (by e-mail and cell phone number), leave a deposit (mandatory requirement) and verify your identity. Deposits vary from company to company, usually between RMB 100-300.

If you have Wechat or Alipay, you can skip the step 1.

Note: To verify the authenticity of your passport, you need to take a self-timer with your passport or take a picture on the information page of your passport according to the instructions. Sometimes, confirmation takes a few days: so if you want to use a sharing bicycle on your trip to China, download a bicycle-sharing app and register in advance.

Step 2: Find a sharing bike and unlock it.

Find a sharing bike around you, or you can locate a bicycle from the app. The app can help you find a bike if you don’t see one immediately. If you use the Wechat or Alipay, find the Bike Sharing service or the bike company such as ofo or mobike. 

Next you need to scan the QR code on the bike to unlock it. Make sure that you find hasn’t found a broken one. And you can enjoy the riding now. The App will track your distance and time. 

Step 3: Park in a proper area and lock manually.

When you’re finished, park the bike near other bikes and click the lock on the back. The App will automatically register the end of the use and debit the appropriate amount. If you remember later on that you left your bike unlocked, you can lock it remotely through the App.

Tips for Bike Sharing in China

  • Please ride on the bicycle lane to avoid taking the wrong road or riding on the sidewalk. If there is no bicycle lane, ride along the right-most road.
  • Have a good manner. All violations of good rules, from reckless parking to damage to forgetting your lock and things like that, can result in fines.
  • If you can’t unlock your bicycle, you can try unlocking another one. You can adjust the seats of most bicycles to make yourself comfortable.

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