China has finally witnessed one of its many bike share providers fail, but not for the reasons you might think. Having brought to market share bikes with no GPS fitted, Wukong has seen nearly all of its fleet stolen.
Operating in Chongquing, Wukong Bike was one of around 30 bike share operators flooding into the market in recent times and managed a fleet of around 1,200 bikes.
Local news reports suggest the firm lasted six months, deciding far too late that fitting a GPS tracker would be a necessary add on for its hire bicycles. By the time the decision was made to retrofit the bikes, the business had run out of money and subsequently failed to raise more.
Wukong initially charged users a small fee to ride its bikes, but later made hires free, ending up with losses of 3 million Yuan.
Bike share schemes have been making waves in the bike industry globally in recent years, with huge piles left on streets in the Far East and territory disputes even breaking out in the UK’s south west.
Sharing giant Mobike recently undertook a deep study of its user base, something which produced some interesting findings on the typical users of fleet bikes.