Mobike enters Australia – first stop is Gold Coast

China’s bike-sharing start-up, Mobike, recently announced that it is starting operations in several key Australian cities. Source: Shutterstock

MOBIKE, one of China’s bike-sharing unicorns, recently announced that it is starting operations in several key Australian cities. The initiative is a pivotal step in Mobike’s global expansion, which has been going nonstop since the startup was founded last year.

According to a statement from the bike-sharing firm, Mobike has recently been awarded the exclusive right to operate in Gold Coast. By January 2018, the bike-sharing firm expects to operate roughly 2,000 smart bikes in areas such as Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Varsity Lakes.

The Chinese bike-sharing startup’s expansion into Australia warranted a few modifications to the company’s iconic gray-and-orange smart bicycles.

Gold Coast could get bike friendly with the introduction of Mobikes’s services. Source: Shutterstock

According to the bike-sharing firm, it has opted to tweak several aspects of its bikes for Australia, with the land down under getting smart bicycles that feature a larger frame, 26-inch wheels, front and rear lights and in some areas, even surfboard racks, according to a ZDNet report.

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Of course, Mobike’s units in Australia will be equipped with the Chinese unicorn’s Magic Cube AI, which collectively gathers data from the company’s smart bicycles. Overall, Mobike is optimistic about the benefits that its AI data can provide for Australia’s cities, as the information gathered from the IoT-enabled smart bikes will be invaluable for city planners and other managers.

Overall, Australia seems to have welcomed Mobike with open arms. Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, for one, is optimistic about the arrival of the Chinese bike-sharing startup, especially since the firm is entering the city just in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“We’ve chosen a team with both international and local expertise to ensure our city becomes a bikeshare success story,” he said in a statement. 

“The scheme provides flexibility for users who can park the bike in designated parking areas or in other appropriate locations without the need for parking infrastructure. 

“The bikes will be rolled out strategically and increase availability to meet demand, and we are delighted they will be on the streets in time for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

SEE ALSO: 5 top bike rides in southeast Queensland

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Source: Shutterstock

Apart from providing clean, renewable, and affordable transportation to its users, the bike-sharing platform also holds some key benefits for Australia’s key cities. By saturating the land down under, after all, Mobike is offering tourists an efficient, clean, way to get around from Point A to Point B.

The fact that the Chinese startup is designing a variant of its smart bicycles with surfboard racks is proof that Mobike is actually targeting the tourist demographic for its operations. Every tourist, after all, needs transportation to get around Australia’s cities.

With this in mind, Mobike’s unique combination of features, from its simple-to-use booking system to its affordable rates, could very well provide a great alternative to Australia’s more conventional modes of transport.

This article originally appeared on our sister site TechWireAsia