April 24, 2017 -- China's bike-sharing fever has spread to Tibet, with 500 shared two-wheelers appearing on the plateau Thursday.
The fleets of bright yellow Ofo bikes have been placed in 22 spots in Xigaze, the region's second largest city, said Lyu Shuang, the company's regional manager.
"We hope shared bikes become low-carbon, cheap transport for locals and tourists alike in Tibet," Lyu said, adding that the company's next stop would be Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.
The bike-sharing business, which took off in big Chinese cities last year, allows riders to hire bikes for as little as one yuan (about 15 U.S. cents) per hour via a mobile app and drop them off anywhere for the next user.
The bikes on the busy streets of Xigaze have attracted curious users. "It's quite cheap, and really suitable for a short ride," said citizen Cering, who with his friends rented a bike just for fun.
Backed by two-digit economic growth for over 20 years, car sales in Tibet have been booming. The underpopulated region now has 300,000 vehicles, with half of them in Lhasa.
However, the four-wheelers have led to traffic congestion and parking problems in downtown Lhasa.