Mobike, a major Chinese bike-rental company, has just placed their first batch of bikes in the capital of the United States as part of its ambitious global expansion plan.

Closely following its largest rival ofo’s footprint, Mobike chose Washington D.C. as the first city in America to start running its business, whereas ofo just a month ago launched services in Seattle (in the state of Washington) with 1,000 bicycles for rent at $1 per hour.

As local governments of major cities in China have halted more bike placements, it’s no secret that the two bike-rental companies from China both vie for market share overseas, following their success in the domestic market which has seemingly been saturated.

“We are thrilled to call Washington D.C. Mobike’s first home in North America,” said Hu Weiwei, CEO of Mobike, in the company’s press release. “Mobike is committed to developing a global bike share culture by collaborating closely with cities, and the US capital is key in achieving this. We look forward to working with more cities across the nation to make cycling the most convenient, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation option for residents and tourists alike.”

To better serve the local riders, Mobike has partnered with US telecom giant AT&T and Qualcomm. With the internet-of-things (IoT) partnership along with Mobike’s app, local users are able to locate, unlock, and pay.

“We are working with a number of cities across the country and are confident this successful pilot will be the first of many partnerships, allowing us to make cycling the most convenient and affordable choice for transportation all around America,” said Rachel Song, General Manager of Mobike US, in the statement.

Prior to the United States, Mobike has debuted in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Italy, and the UK, while ofo has also launched its dockless bikes in Singapore, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Austria, Britain, and the US.

Timmy Shen is a technology reporter based in Beijing. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. Send tips and feedback to or follow him on twitter at...

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