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Apart from users parking bikes in irresponsible places, vandalism to the QR codes used to unlock the bikes and bikes being hidden or locked with private locks have also given headaches to Mobike and its upstart rival ofo, a newcomer based in Beijing.
According to an August article posted by Travelpage, a WeChat public account focusing on tourism, users have started to pile up orange Mobikes like garbage instead of parking them neatly after three months of the business operating in Shanghai.
Many of the bikes' QR codes have been scratched or painted over, with some even being replaced by fraudulent codes and advertising stickers have been stuck to many of the bikes.
Also, many Mobikes have been stolen or have had their seats, wheels, pedals and even their GPS trackers damaged, the article said.
A Hongkonger surnamed Su was arrested by police shortly after throwing three Mobikes into the Huangpu River in Shanghai. He told the authorities that he was worried the bikes would steal his personal information, Shanghai-based eastday.com reported on October 25.
About 10 percent of the 20,000 Mobikes in Guangzhou have been damaged to varying degrees, the Guangzhou-based newspaper Yangcheng Evening News reported Tuesday.
However this damage is usually relatively minor, with Tang Ke, an associate director with ofo's public relationship department, telling the Global Times Wednesday that since ofo recently expanded to cover more of Beijing they have not yet seen a significant damage rate.
However, according to WeChat public account "jinzhaoshanghai," the yellow ofo bikes are indeed sharing the unfortunate fate of their orange competitors.
Most poor user behavior is caused by the shortage of available bikes, Tang said, adding that users will not want to put their own locks on sharing bikes when there are always four or five available bikes nearby, and that this situation is what the company aims to achieve in the near future.
Separately, a commentary published by Yangcheng Evening News on Tuesday attributes the high rate of damage to the competition between the sector's major firms, who it claimed are likely to damage their competitors' bikes to earn a higher market share.