CHINESE bike-sharing operator Ofo has launched its services in Thailand, marking the latest step toward its ambitious goal of covering 200 cities in 20 countries by the end of this year.
Ofo said it had launched a trial at Thammasat University in Bangkok and plans to partner with 10 other universities in the next three months. By then, the services will be available on streets.
The Beijing-based startup plans to operate 6,000 shared bikes in Bangkok by the end of September. And the number is set to increase by 5,000 per month after that.
“We aim to promote a cycling culture and help improve the traffic situation in Bangkok and other Thai cities in the near future,” said Lawrence Cao, Ofo’s head of Asia-Pacific business. “The company has been committed to bringing localised service for riders and providing a sustainable last-mile solution for city dwellers.”
The bike sharing craze that took off in China is now going abroad, as bike-sharing companies eye expanding their overseas presence. Last week Mobike Technology Co Ltd officially rode into Italy, marking the company’s first major push into the European continent after launching services in the United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore.
Operating more than more than 6.5 million bikes in six countries globally, Ofo said it has over 100 million users and has recorded more than 2 billion rides since its debut in 2015. Its top competitor Mobike has rolled out more than 6 million bikes in over 150 cities globally.