Ofo appears to be infringing on the ban on new bikes being put on the streets of Shanghai according to some investigative reporting by the Liberation Daily. The paper has provided a timeline of new model ofo bikes turning up in rows on the streets of the city yet seemingly muddied up with dirt to give the impression the newly-formed ranks are all old-time Shanghai veterans. A delivery driver told the paper that the depot they bring them from has over 10,000 new bikes.

In mid-August, Shanghai’s transport authorities said no to any more new hire bikes being dumped on its streets due to sheer numbers and the chaotic abandoning of the bikes. After tip-offs from the public about bikes starting to reappear, with some of the plastic wrapping still on the components, Liberation Daily reporters went on patrol and found trucks coming into town and offloading bikes like the heady days of July all over again.

According to a public statement by ofo, the company has always followed local regulations after the local ban on new bikes. The bikes in question were replacement bikes for older models they wanted to bring out of service in Shanghai. The statement also said that since Shanghai is a logistics hub, many of the bikes reported on were to be sent to surrounding areas outside Shanghai.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...