Mobike not affected by local councils’ action

Its launch is supported and endorsed by the Shah Alam City Council, says country manager


While some of the local councils are cracking down on bike-sharing services, China-based Mobike said it has the full approval from the authorities to operate in Shah Alam.

“Our launch is supported and endorsed by the Shah Alam City Council to welcome Mobike into the state capital of Selangor. Hence, we are confident that our smart bike-share solution will be widely adopted by residents living in Shah Alam,” Mobike’s country manager Sanjey Chandran told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in an email yesterday.

“We also work very closely with local authorities to make sure we enter each city in a considered approach that is within regulatory guidelines,” he said.

Mobike launched its dockless bike-sharing service in Shah Alam last week, making Malaysia the third country in the South-East Asian region to welcome Mobike’s operations, after the company announced the start of its services in Thailand last month.

“We have only just begun operations in Malaysia and we have observed that Mobike’s smart bike-share service is welcomed by local authorities and enterprises because our operations are founded on being responsible and innovative,” Sanjey said in the wake of the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) move to confiscate some 250 bike-sharing bicycles.

Yesterday, TMR reported Petaling Jaya Mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Zain declaring bike-sharing service, oBike, as illegal due to the fact that it had not applied for any permits for operation.

According to Mohd Azizi, as of Sunday, the council had yet to receive applications for licensing or permits from oBike or any other bike-sharing platform companies.

Expecting the bike-sharing platform companies to be operating like every other businesses, he said the company has to apply for licensing and permit for the location.

That would then allow both the local authorities and bike-sharing company to work around, ensuring its services are properly regulated.

Asked whether the move by MBPJ would affect Mobike’s future plans to expand locally, Sanjey said, “We approach every city launch individually with a focus to adequately address local transportation needs.

“We fully agree that bike-sharing can be properly regulated and we had collaborated with SP Setia Bhd in obtaining the local council’s approval and licence,” he added.

Commenting on measures that would be taken by Mobike to avoid its bicycles causing obstruction to pedestrians and drivers, Sanjev said unlike its competitors, Mobike’s entire fleet of bikes are GPS-enabled, which allows the company to track the bikes’ whereabouts.

“This enables us to identify problems and address them quickly and our tracking technology also accurately tracks supply and demand so that we can adjust supply accordingly, not letting there be too many bikes around,” he said.