ofo, the world's first and largest "dockless" bike-sharing platform, and KT Corporation, South Korea's top telecom company, signed a business agreement to commercialise Korea's customised bike sharing service at KT Square in Seoul.
The event witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Zhang Yanqi, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of ofo, and June Keun Kim, Executive Vice-President of KT Corporation. The event was also attended by trusted partners from Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. and NHN KCP Corporation.
ofo is the only global bike-sharing service company that has entered the Korean market by applying and implementing the necessary ICT (Information Communication Technology) suitable to the Korean standards, in order to provide bike-sharing service that is optimized for the domestic environment.
Yanqi Zhang, ofo's Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer who attended the signing ceremony, said: "Since the start of the free pilot service in Korea, the users in Korea have been very supportive of our service. Despite the harsh weather during winter early this year, we still see users utilising our bikes for their last mile commute.
"This is a positive signal of localisation. We hope that through our bike sharing model, we are able to play a key role in local synergy growth, more job creation and the implementation of regulations towards creating an eco-friendly smart city. "
Through this partnership agreement, ofo will leverage on KT's national IoT network infrastructure to provide bikes that meet the Korean telecommunication standards. In addition, the IoT technology integrated with the real-time monitoring of the bicycles that need repair and redeployment will allow ofo's operations crew to focus on more efficient bike management.
"According to KT's big data analysis, workers in the metropolitan area spend about 15km a day and 90 minutes a day on their commute," said Jun-Keun Kim, Managing Director of KT GiGA IoT business. "KT will do its best to cooperate with ofo not only in IoT cooperation but also in creating a culture to reduce carbon emissions. This is the level of production of about 230,000 KW of renewable energy and more than 600 trees of 20 years old pine trees. "
ofo's entry to Korea started with a pilot service in Busan early this year, with integrated smart locked bikes which have obtained the national KC certification. To unlock an ofo app is easy - users simply need use the downloaded ofo app to scan the QR code displayed on each bike to unlock the bike. Upon reaching their destination, users may park the bike in any authorised parking areas near their destination and lock the bike to end their ride.
ofo is working closely with relevant government bodies to ensure that the business model of bike-sharing in Korea is mutually favourable to both riders and operators alike. Through a dockless bike-sharing service in Korea, ofo hopes to reduce Koreans' reliance on cars and other motor vehicles, and to resolve any last mile connectivity gaps. By encouraging a bike-friendly culture, ofo aims to steer social change towards less vehicles on the roads, minimising carbon emissions.
Founded in 2014, ofo is the world's first and largest station-free bike-sharing platform operated via an online mobile application. ofo is created for sharing and aims to unlock every corner of the world by making bikes accessible to everyone. To date, ofo has connected travellers in over 250 cities across 21 countries with more than 10 million bikes, generating more than 32 million daily transactions. In total, its platform has provided over 200 million global users with over 6 billion efficient, convenient and eco-friendly rides.