Hundreds of unlocked ofo rental bicycles have been found buried under construction waste in Chengdu. The bikes were in miserable conditions with deformed tires, broken chains, and damaged seats, but were fairly new, produced as early as March this year. The incident was reported to Chengdu Wuhou Police and the police is investigating, Chinese media The Cover is reporting.
“In April, I used the back-end software to check the use of bicycles in the corresponding area as usual,” Chen Long, operations director of ofo in Chengdu, said. When he found that there was a particularly large number of bicycles in the same location, all in silent mode, meaning that vehicle has not been used for more than three days. The staff sent to the scene found that the bicycles were buried in various positions under construction waste and later noticed at least hundreds of bikes were buried there.
“If it is deliberately damaging rental bicycles, its behavior has been suspected of violating the criminal law,” Zhu Jieping, director of the Taiyi Law (Chengdu) Office said.
Rental bikes are subject to vandalism and bike theft, and case like this threatens bike rental company’s cost management. The unit price of each vehicle ranges from RMB 400-800 ($62~125) to a total of tens of thousands of RMB, according to Chen Long. This is not only the problem inside China, as both Mobike and ofo have been busy launching their service in more than 200 cities around the world spreading the idea of dockless bikes. Ofo’s expansion to Europe, however, was later followed by bike theft, and vandalism in some areas, with its most recent case in Milan, Italy.