(Yicai Global) Aug. 23 -- Ofo, the Chinese bike-sharing platform run by Beijing Bikelock Technology Co., is bringing in a new smart lock system featuring the latest in near-field communication technology from October, making it the first locking system in the world to support NFC payments.
The high frequency wireless communication technology allows contactless data exchanges between electronic devices, so users can unlock Ofo bikes by simply placing their smartphone near the lock.
This marks the company's second lock upgrade. The initial locks were manual entry combination locks, but received wide criticism for their simplicity. In March this year, an 11-year-old boy cracked the code for an Ofo bike and died in a collision while riding it. It was the first road casualty in the country to involve a minor riding a shared bike.
Ofo later upgraded to an electronic locking system but users complained about its high failure rate.
The new near-field communication payment lock will make unlocking bikes much easier, co-founder Xue Ding said in a press release.