More than two weeks after 1,000 bikes of Chinese bike-sharing company Mobike arrived in Manchester, Britain, there have been complaints that many locals don't know how to share.
"There are Mobikes in the canal, Mobikes in bins and I am fed up with following the app to a residential street where there is clearly a Mobike stashed in someone's garden," Helen Pidd, North of England editor of the Guardian, wrote in an article published Sunday on the newspaper's website.
Steve Pyer, Mobike UK's general manager, said 50 bikes have been trashed so far. He added that many more have indeed ended up on private property, and the bike redistribution team will be knocking on doors themselves to clear up "misunderstanding."
"In Singapore we launched our scheme in March with 5,000 bikes and there have been just two reports of broken locks," he was quoted by the article as saying.
"I would like to live in a city where people know how to share," Pidd wrote. "I hope my pessimism is ill-placed."
On June 29, Mobike, one of China's largest bike-sharing companies, launched its service in the Greater Manchester. For the special month of July, Mobike will offer a discounted 29-pound deposit to users. Usage is charged at 50 pence per 30mins.
Earlier this year, Ofo, a rival company of Mobike in China, launched 20 bikes in the British city of Cambridge.
Using specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users of its smartphone app to find a bike near them, reserve and unlock it. After reaching their destination, the user parks the bike by the roadside and locks it, automatically making the bike available to the next rider.
The company officially launched its service in Shanghai in April 2016. In just over a year, it has raised more than 600 million U.S. dollars to finance overseas expansion. It now has 6.5 million shared bikes in 150 cities globally.
Britain, Singapore, and the United States are among the markets Chinese bike-sharing firms have entered.