Ofo has announced a strategic partnership with BeiDou Navigation, a Chinese government-backed sattelite positioning system, that will see ofo bikes equipped with Beidou-enabled smart locks, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.

Under the agreement, ofo’s bikes furnished with the BeiDou-enabled smart lock will be first launched in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. In addition, users will be notified of available and legal parking areas inside ofo’s app.

The new lock will help ofo users find a bike easily even in remote areas. Unlike its rival Mobike, whose bikes have GPS-enabled smart locks, ofo uses a low-tech combo lock with no positioning function, which has not only caused their staff great trouble in bike dispatching, but is inconvenient for users to the pinpoint the position of a bike: they cannot use one unless the bike is right before their eyes.

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Sheila Yu

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