On yer Mobike: Another cycle sharing scheme's arrived in London after oBike

Lynsey Barber
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Mobike, oBike, Ofo and Boris bikes: The choice for cyclists is growing (Source: Getty)

It looks like Londoners will have more bike choices than ever before, as another cycle sharing scheme pulls up in the capital.

Mobike, a Chinese startup unicorn (valued at more than a billion dollars, that is), will be available in Ealing from today, its first foray into the capital after a somewhat bumpy arrival in Manchester, where vandals got their hands on the company's cycles.

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Similar to the familiar Boris Bike but without docking stations, Mobike may sound familiar. That's because oBike arrived earlier this month (though that launch didn't go much better).

oBikes have been spotted far and wide across London. Some have criticised its approach for "dumping" them on the streets, while others have welcomed the arrival in areas underserved by Boris bikes, such as South East London.

Mobike is in talks with other boroughs across the capital beyond Ealing, meaning you might see them in your area sooner than you think. UK manager Steve Pyer said London is "key" to its goal of helping "develop the bike sharing culture across the globe".

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Bike sharing is big money these days, and dominated by Asia. Mobike's entry into the UK comes after a huge $600m round of investment from Chinese internet giant Tencent along with venture and private equity investors.

And Ofo, backed by China's answer to Uber Didi Chuxing among others also to the tune of billions, is in Cambridge and is planning to expand across Europe. London can't be too far off the startup.

Let the bike-share wars begin.

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