Mobike announced yesterday (in Chinese) that their app will now include the option to ride for hongbao (红包 or “red envelopes” in English). Similar to Pokemon GO, users can “hunt” for Mobike red envelope bikes (摩拜红包车). After riding one of the “Bonus Bikes,” as the company calls them, for at least 10 minutes, users are then eligible for two rewards: a free ride if under 2 hours and the chance to open a hongbao worth between RMB 1 and RMB 100.

With no limits on how often a user can receive a hongbao, the funds received from the hongbao will be separate from the regular Mobike account. In addition, any hongbao balance greater than RMB 10 received from the can be transferred to the user’s Alipay account. The company says that they plan to add a WeChat transfer option in the near future. The Bonus Bikes are currently available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Nanjing and more, and will be rolled out in the next few days to all the 33 cities across China in which Mobike operates.

“The Bonus Bikes are a fun way to engage more users. Also, since our bikes all come with GPS enabled locks that connect with Mobike’s IoT platform, we can also use this as a way to incentive use of certain bikes in certain areas,” a spokesperson for the company told TechNode. “For example, during rush hour, we can pinpoint where bikes are needed and incentivize users to ride there, or encourage users to take bikes that are underutilized to more high-demand locations.  This enables us to further lower operating costs and further improve efficiency – and also helps us to educate users about parking more responsibly for the convenience of the next user.”

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John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...