(Yicai Global) March 1 -- The price war between China's bike-sharing powerhouses Mobike and Ofo appears to have simmered down as the firms stop offering their services for next to nothing.
Both providers were running CNY1 (USD0.16) monthly memberships until recently, when they returned prices to CNY20, Beijing Daily reported. Quarterly, semi-annual and yearly plans are all charged at the same monthly rate.
As the services become more expensive, users are complaining that the riding experience doesn't meet the increased price. Several consumers said that issues with bikes are common, which make journeys troublesome and affect their mood, the report said. The hikes aren't surprising now the two companies have a solid user base, but they must be cautious about flexing their monopolistic position, one industry expert said.
Ofo, officially Beijing Bikelock Technology Co., said it was changing the way it offered discounts and would still be offering giveaways such as free weekly cards and coupons. However, consumers still feel let down, the report added.
While the sector's two largest firms turn an eye to actually profiting from their core service, lower-level players, such as Shanghai Junzheng Network Technology Co. (Hellobike), are still offering bike sharing for CNY2 a month. Its longer plans cost half the price of those run by Ofo and Beijing Mobike Technology Co.