Chinese bike-sharing giant Mobike Technology Co Ltd announced on Monday it would roll out its services in Australia as part of a bid to expand its overseas presence, faced with mounting competition from its rival Ofo Inc outside China.
Gold Coast, an eastern coastal city of Australia, will be Mobike's first destination to tap into the Australian market, and around 2,000 bikes are expected to be available in Southport, Surfers Paradise and Varsity Lakes by January next year.
"Australia represents an amazing opportunity for Mobike, and Gold Coast is an ideal location for us to start our smart bike share service. We are very pleased to be the exclusive partner for the city and delivering our mission to improve city residents' quality of life," said Chris Martin, vice-president of international for Mobike.
To suit Australian customers' appetite, the Beijing-based company has added internal three-speed gears, a larger frame and 26-inch wheels, as well as front and rear lights on the bikes. Some bikes will also be equipped with surfboard racks due to the country's seagirt location.
"The scheme provides flexibility for users who can park the bike in designated parking areas or in other appropriate locations without the need for parking infrastructure. The bikes will be rolled out strategically and increase in availability to meet demand," Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said.
He added they are delighted shared bikes from Mobike will be on the streets in time for 2018 Commonwealth Games, a global sports meeting Gold Coast will host.