Rental Bike Giant Obike Invades Germany

With DB Rent’s Call-a-Bike and Nextbike’s MVG-Rad (offered by Munich’s public transportation company MVG) there are already two bicycle rental systems operating in Munich. This April, Danish Donkey Bikes entered Munich followed by Singaporean Obike in August. Obike is flooding the streets of Munich with 7,000 grey-yellow rental bikes, leading to serious concerns and anger.

The anger in Munich is growing about the 7,000 single speeders from this first Fareast rental bike provider which is trying to conquer Munich. They are not only occupying the last free spaces at bike parking and sidewalks in downtown Munich but also those in city suburbs. Obike isn’t operating with docking stations but strictly through an app based rental procedure without any direct address. There’s only an email address.

Collecting consumer data
Like in other European capitals and cities Munich citizens are questioning how Obike is making any money as there’s even no space on the bikes for advertising. It’s speculated that rental bike newcomers from the Fareast are only interested in collecting consumer data they can sell. This fear is rooted in the fact that IT giants are backing such rental bike operators.

After rising concerns and anger Obike reacted on the negative reporting in and around Munich. First of all they made clear that they won’t sell any customer data to third parties – “but we could offer our anonymous data cost-free to the cities so they can use them for updating their infrastructure.” Moreover they want to install a hotline.

Read more here.