Five bike-rental firms made it clear that users can get back their in-app balance, following their statement weeks ago that bike-rental deposits are secure and are totally refundable, local media is reporting.

Bike-rental firms including Mobike, ofo, Bluegogo, and UniBike made the statement at a conference hosted in Beijing yesterday by the China Consumers Association (CCA). Growing problems emerging with the bike-rental boom has caught the attention of the consumer rights watchdog, such as failures in contacting customer service and slow deposit refunds.

Currently, however, users cannot apply for the refund directly through the app. Instead, they must contact customer service either over the phone or through the feedback interface inside the app.

In response to the deposit safety issues, bike-rental firm representatives present reiterated that all the deposits are kept in banks under third-party supervision and in separate accounts from their operating budget.

Mobike and ofo earlier have said they have sped up the process to enable real-time deposit reimbursement. TechNode has confirmed this and received the refund shortly after submitting the application.

But for the in-app balance refund, TechNode found it is still slow and inconvenient to get back refund.

Governments are formulating rules to rein in the reckless expansion of the bike-rental sector, and are expected to introduce the rules in May at the earliest.

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at