Bike sharing in China, Part 1: Ofo’s Wild Ride | TechBuzz China by Pandaily | SupChina

Ep. 15: ​Bike sharing in China, Part 1: Ofo’s Wild Ride

The internet age has brought with it what China’s state media calls the country’s “New Four Great Inventions”: high speed trains, scan-and-pay mobile payments, bike sharing, and ecommerce. This week’s episode is the first in a two-part story on bike sharing — told against a backdrop of Ofo, one of the two major Chinese players, pulling out of international markets. What happened? And most importantly, what is happening now? Listen to this week’s episode of TechBuzz China by co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma, for a history lesson on Ofo! Guest speaker Karl Ulrich, the Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Wharton School, weighs in as well.

TechBuzz China by Pandaily is a weekly technology podcast focused on giving you a peek into what’s buzzing within the tech community in China. It is co-hosted by Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma, who are both seasoned China watchers with years of experience working in the technology space in China. They uncover and contextualize unique insights, perspectives, and takeaways on headline tech news that don’t always make it into English language coverage.

Our co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma break down the origin story of Ofo. Started by five Peking University graduates in the bubbly tech world of 2014, the team was getting 4000 orders per day on the PKU campus alone just two months after launch. After being spotted by GSR Ventures investor Robin Luo, the rest is history. Today, Ofo is at 32 million rides a day in over 200 cities. However, challenges continue to abound: repair costs, oversupply, and figuring out a viable business model in a heavy capex business.

Listen to the newest episode of TechBuzz China and decide for yourself: should bike-sharing, which has fundamentally changed how hundreds of millions of people move, remain as one of the four New Great Inventions?

As always, you can find these stories and more at Let us know what you think of the show by leaving us an iTunes review, like our Facebook page, and don’t forget to tweet at us at @techbuzzchina to win some swag!


Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu

Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu are both entrepreneurs and China-watchers who lived and worked in the technology space in China for many years. Rui Ma is also an angel investor. Together they host the TechBuzz China podcast by Pandaily, a tech media startup reporting on everything about China's innovation.