Manchester bike-sharing firm Mobike develops tech to track cycles and lock them remotely

Oliver Gill
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Mobike will be hitting Manchester's streets at the end of this week (Source: Mobike)

Mobike, the bike-sharing firm bringing Boris-style bikes to Manchester, has developed location tracking technology that allows bikes to be locked remotely.

The Chinese firm has teamed up with digital security company Gemalto to embed a “smart bike lock”.

Today’s announcement comes a week after bike-sharing rival Wukong went bust after losing 90 per cent of its 1,200 bikes in its first five months of business. Unlike Mobike, Wukong’s bikes were not fitted with GPS technology.

Read more: Chinese bike-sharing firm goes bust after cycles disappear

Mobike co-founder Joe Xia said: "Innovation has put us in the leading position and made us the largest smart bike-sharing service provider in China and the world.

Gemalto is with us in China, and as we expanded into our first international markets – Singapore and Manchester. Our ongoing collaboration will help Mobike's International expansion plans.

Manchester is Mobike’s first foray outside of Asia with the first bikes available from 29 June. Already labelled "Burnham bikes" – after Manchester mayor Andy – they will be available initially on a six-month trial. Mobikes differ from London’s “Boris” or Santander bikes by having no docking stations and will not be funded by the taxpayer.

Read more: This bike-sharing startup just raised $600m from Tencent

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