But that hasn't stopped the Beijing company behind smartphone-enabled share bike service Ofo from setting its sights on Australia. Ofo launched locally this week, kicking off its Aussie pilot program with a fleet of 50 yellow bikes in Adelaide and plans to roll out in Sydney and Melbourne over the coming months.
Billed as the world's first and largest dockless bike sharing platform and available in 180 countries across the globe, Ofo reckons it's ironed out the kinks in this whole share bike game.
Firstly, the Ofo app indicates 'preferred parking' zones, to discourage riders from dumping their bikes on any old bit of footpath. Then there's the company's monitoring system, which uses thermodynamic diagrams to monitor the bikes distribution. The company's also got a local team on the ground, checking the bikes twice a day, shifting wayward bikes back to the proper zones and fixing any damages. As with Uber, Ofo also implements a credit rating system — well-behaved riders will earn points, while those who park outside the preferred zones and neglect to move them back will have points deducted.
New users will score their first Ofo ride for free, with subsequent trips paid via debit or credit card priced at $1 for every half hour.
Ofo has just launched in Adelaide, with a national rollout to follow in the coming months. For more info, visit ofo.com.