Bike-sharing company sued for ‘inadequate’ locks after boy’s death – CNET

Young people ride the Ofo bikes on city street. In the
Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Parents of a boy who died in an accident while riding a bike belonging to Ofo thinks the Chinese bike-sharing company should take responsibility for its locks.

The 11 year-old victim died in China after a coach crashed into him while he was riding against traffic. He was too young to access an Ofo account on his phone or cycle on public roads, but was able to open the mechanical lock on Ofo’s bike. 

The boy’s parents claim that the Ofo bikes’ locks are “inadequate” and have taken Ofo to court, demanding RMB 8.78 million (or $1.3 million) in compensation. They argue that Ofo should take the blame because its bikes are left unsupervised and anyone can access them. The bikes pose a “great hidden risk to safety,” according to the parents, since the victim and three of his underaged companions were able to unlock them.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the growing bike-sharing market, which has made unicorns out of Ofo and its rival Mobike. Bike-sharers are not unfamiliar with cases of vandalism and other misuse such as users breaking the locks and indiscriminate parking. These problems also occur in other countries including Singapore and the UK.

CNET has reached out to Ofo for a comment.

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