In the cutthroat competition within China’s bike-sharing industry, one Mobike employee took extreme action against a competitor.
Local police in Xiamen’s Xiang’an district received reports from Hellobike regarding missing bicycles in July. While Hellobike does not operate in the district, the company found more than 70 location-trackers left in multiple dumpsters in the district.
A Mobike employee surnamed Ye and a minivan driver surnamed Guo were later detained by police for allegedly stealing more than 30 bicycles from Hellobike, according to Kankan News.
Mobike and Hellobike are the top two shared-bike market players in Xiamen. Only three companies—Mobike, Hello Bike and Didi’s Qingji Bike—have been granted permission to run bike-sharing programs in the city by the local city management authority.
Ye, the Mobike employee, was caught on surveillance camera footage moving several Hellobike shared bicycles onto a minivan with Guo, who worked for a local logistics company contracted by Mobike to recycle their malfunctioning shared-bike stock.
Local police later found three Hellobike shared-bikes in Guo’s house and several more in his neighbors’ residences, as well as on nearby construction sites.
When he was questioned by the police, Guo said he stole the bikes and gave them to his friends and relatives as gifts because Hellobikes were “new and easy to ride.” Ye admitted that he had accompanied Guo four times to steal bicycles.
Mobike’s parent company Meituan has yet to comment on the case as of press time.