On June 11, Mobike announced they will discontinue their RMB299 mandatory deposit in 100 cities across the country. Nonetheless, the benefit is not bestowed to Shanghai, as reported by Shine.
According to the announcement, the new regulation will apply to new and old users alike. New users can download the app and enjoy the service without any requirement; while existing customers can apply for a refund via their official app. The money will be returned within seven days.
Image via Kankanews
This latest Mobike deposit policy may be a result of pressure from Hellobike and ofo, according to The Paper. Both bike-sharing companies have declared to waive the deposit (with Shanghai included.) That being said, the users must achieve a specific score with Zhima Credit, a credit-related service agency subject to Ant Financial and Alipay, to enjoy the service.
Unlike Hellobike and ofo, Mobike launched its own credit system, where users can obtain other benefits such as coupons and vouchers, so long as they achieve a high enough score.
The mandatory deposit has always been an issue for the shared bike industry. On the one hand, some companies have been accused of embezzling users’ deposit for other purposes; on the other hand, it’s impossible for firms that have folded to return millions of yuan in deposit funds, as is reported by The Paper.
Image via Sohu
This may shed light on why Shanghai, along with many other first-tier cities of China, is not among the list of the deposit-free service. On the contrary, most second-tier and third-tier cities are eligible for the benefit.
Mobike advises that Shanghai users will enjoy the service in the future and then, they will release more details regarding the deposit policy.
[Top Image via Tech in Asia]