Xia Yiping, co-founder and CTO of Mobike, gives a speech about bike-sharing at the Mobike Thailand Strategic Cooperation Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug. 30, 2017. Mobike, a leading Chinese bike-sharing platform, launched its Thailand business after signing strategic cooperation MOUs with local partners Wednesday in Bangkok. The first Mobike services will hit the campus of Kasetsart University in the near future (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)
BANGKOK, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's top stationless bike-sharing company Mobike has announced it is entering the Thai market to launch its smart bikes, making the company the third bike-sharing service provider in Thailand after Singaporean oBike and Chinese ofo.
Mobike signed MOUs with Thailand's telecom company Advanced Info Service(AIS), Central Pattana Group and Kasetsart (Agriculture) University to "jointly deliver smart, sustainable mobility solutions to Thailand's residents and visitors".
Mobike will first start service in Thailand at Bangkok's Kasetsart University, home to some 70,000 students.
"Mobikes are equipped with a series of proprietary high-tech features that benefit both users and partner cities. Every Mobike is equipped with unique smart-lock technology and built-in GPS connected via the Mobike IoT network, which no other bike-sharing company provides," Mobike founder and CTO Joe Xia said during the press conference.
According to him, these technologies can track Mobike ridders'speed to ensure their safety.
Mobike will charge 10 Thai baht for 30 minutes, while AIS will collaborate with Mobike by providing their mPay as an e-payment gateway to Thailand, according to Suvit Arayavilaipong, senior vice president for product management of AIS.
Xia said Mobike will soon be found in other locations in Bangkok and other cities across the kingdom, including Central Pattana Group's retail properties.
Xia told Xinhua that Mobike will come to Bangkok's streets soon for sure after the pilot scheme in Kasetsart University but there is no clear schedule now.
There are not many bicycle lanes and bicycle parking lots in Bangkok, and people living in the Southeast Asian metropolis are barely seen riding bicycles.
Xia, however, is confident that Mobike will work in the city where people tend to ride motorcycles, and Mobike's success in Singapore and Manchester in Britain will help them to develop here.
"From A to B, if you can provide customers with good service and cheap price, they have no reason to reject it." he said.
Xia added that after Bike-sharing entered Singapore, a city which shares the similar shortage of bicycle lanes, the government canceled its origin plan to develop their own public bicycle system and is now planning more bicycle lanes and bicycle parking lots, a win-win outcome.
Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, executive vice president of Martketing of Central Pattana, asked the Bangkok government to support this environmental-friendly way of commuting as Mobike will help make Bangkok a greenner city and further enhance its reputation as a world-class tourist destination.
"We want revive bicycle riding in our campus," Kasetsart University's Acting President Chongrak Wachrinrat said during the press conference, adding introducing such a Chinese startup may also inspire their students with innovation.