Battle of the bikes: full manic cycle yet to be played out near you

Photo: HK01
If you think Sai Kung already has too many shared bikes, in the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Bike sharing services in China are only a couple of years old, but they exploded in a few months to more than 40 companies competing furiously.
Now the thousands of Gobee bikes littering Sai Kung and CWB are being joined by Hobabikes and Ofobikes. Over the horizon and coming soon are LocoBikes, oBikes and Ketch’Up Bikes.
Photo: HK01

The monster is out of control, mo wong goon in the vernacular. Gobee Bikes were funded by US$9 million from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.  B-b-b baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  US$860 million has been raised by Ofo Bike from Alibaba and CITIC Private Equity and others. Ofo Bikes are now in 120 cities with 32 million daily users.  Ketch’Up Bikes is crowd funding. You too can be a bike owner!
The faster the bubble inflates the faster it bursts. This has already happened in China. Half of the millions of bikes scattered across the country have been abandoned, stolen or vandalised. Vast dumps of tangled bikes have appeared. The expansion has been so huge nobody can make money. A few well-managed companies may survive.

Sai Kung and CWB have yet to go through the full manic cycle.
SAI KUNG BUZZ asked the local police chief Daniel Tsang around six months ago what the police would do about the coming scourge. He said bike sharing may prove to be a worthwhile service and the police will play a monitoring role.
See previous stories from BUZZ on this subject: 790 bikes impounded in Sai Kung district in last six months of 2017 , Where will all the Gobee bikes go, Bike sharing start-up rolls into Sai Kung but where to park?

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