As shared bikes are running on basically every street in most of China, they are seen by some companies as a perfect medium for market promotion. When you spot a bike, you are likely to also spot various advertising flyers on the bike seats, the bottom of the baskets or the mudguard.
Shanghai Pudong New District Court concluded China’s first case of flyposting on bike rentals Thursday. According to the court’s decision, Shanghai Huijia Information and Technology, the defendant, should issue a public apology and compensate RMB 100,000 to Mobike for putting up advertisements without Mobike’s consent.
Sun Keqing, government relation manager at Mobike said that the case imposed punishment on the illegal flyposting and Mobike will continue to resort to legal actions to similar behavior.
At the end of last year, Mobike found that many of the company’s bike seats were covered by Huijia’s seat cushions, which promoted Hujia’s hotel business. The seat cushions were found in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Wuhan. According to Mobike, there were 200,000 bikes that were covered by Huijia’s promotions. Originally, Mobike sued the company for RMB 1 million on December 14, 2017.
Besides seat cushions, some companies directly stick the posters on different parts of the bikes. A lot of them are on the bottom of the bike basket, which is actually a solar battery that can charge the bike and the charging can be disturbed by the posters.
Apart from that the flyposting damages the bike physically, some of these ads were simply scams. Most common posters are ads about cheap loans or paying to zero out your demerit points. After Mobike sued Huijia, the Mobike quickly set up a specific complaint hotline to fight against flyposting.
Mobike also corporate with different local governments on cleaning up the posters on the bikes, including Nanjing and Tianjin.
Huijia isn’t the only company that Mobike has sued. On December 22, 2017, Mobike sued Chengdu Hengbo Hospital for posting flyers on the company’s bikes without consent from Mobike.