Ofo Bicycle – How Foreigners in China Can Register? Simple and Easy Steps!

Posted on February 9, 2017

If you are living in one of the top cities in China like Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou then you must have seen long line of yellow minion-looking bicycles waiting for people to take a ride. Yes… “Ofo bicycleAnytime Anywhere” also known as “Xiao Huang Che (小黄车) or Little Yellow Bicycle” – is one of the popular bike sharing services in China. Combining two-wheeled traditional means of transportation with latest technology, the service is mostly popular amongst students and gradually expanding to public areas as well as popular scenic spots.

If you are a foreigner living in China wondering how to take a ride using Ofo then the following steps are for you. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

Requirements:

  1. A smart phone with Chinese SIM and internet.
  2. A valid ID (e.g Student card or Passport).
  3. WeChat or Alipay payment activated on cell phone.

How to register?

Step 1: Download and install Ofo Bicycle app from this link or scan the QR code below.

 

Step 2: Open the app, enter your cell phone number, enter Captcha and press submit. You will receive a SMS with 4-digit verification code. Enter the code and press “Verify phone number

 

 

 

Step 3: Once you are logged in, you will be asked to verify your account by paying ¥99 deposit first, through either Wechat or Alipay which is refundable within 3 working days.

 

 

Step 4: Once payment is successful, you will be taken to the next step, press “I don’t have Chinese ID” add your Passport copy (one photo of the passport main page and another photo of you holding the passport). Press “Verify” and wait for few hours for your account to be fully activated.

 

 

Step 5: Add balance in your account, ¥20 is the minimum amount (pay through Wechat or Alipay) and you will be ready to take a ride.

 

Taking a Ride:

Step 1: Put the number of the bicycle in your app or scan the QR.

Step 2: The app will give you a 4-digit Pin, use this Pin to unlock the bicycle.

Congrats! You are now ready to take your first ride with Ofo Bicycle!

When you complete your ride do not forget to lock the bike and notify the app. Once done the app will automatically charge you the amount of your ride from your balance. Usually it costs between  CNY 0.5 – 1.0 depending on distance and time.

Tips:

  • Make sure you have internet on your cell phone to receive the four digit number to unlock the bicycle.
  • If you have issues with the bicycle you can report in the app.
  • The Ofo Bicycle app comes in both Chinese and English. You can change the language settings by going to AboutLanguage option.

Steps to change app language on Android:

(Unfortunately language switching option is currently unavailable on iOS)

  1. Press Settings menu (top left corner of the App)
  2. Press “关于” or “About”
  3. Press “语言” or “Language” (3rd option)
  4. Switch to your desired language

How to top-up Ofo account?

  1. Press Settings menu (top left corner of the App)
  2. Press “我的钱包” or “My wallet”(second item in the menu)
  3. Press “充值” or “Top-Up”
  4. Select amount, select payment method (either AliPay or Wechat) and then press “立即充值”

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

70 Comments

  1. Berthold

    April 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Where exactly can I find the language changing option?
    My ofo app only talks Chinese 😉

    • Tarek

      April 6, 2017 at 11:32 am

      If your app is in Chinese press Settings menu (top left corner of the App) -> press “关于” (last item in the menu) -> press 语言 or Language (3rd option) and you should be able to switch language from there.

      • Ariel

        April 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        I followed that process of changing the language but the screen it takes me to doesn’t give me any options to change anything. It’s simply an information page. Is there another way to change the language?

    • Ben

      September 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      My ofo stopped working and I got a notice saying no internet – even though mobike is fine. Called ofo and they told me to download the latest app. Did that – but my iOS will only download the English version. Tried to log in but says my phone number is not recognized. Tried reinstalling the Chinese version but can’t, because it’s not available in the U.K. Store. Reverted to using ofo through alipay shared bike option. Any suggestions?

  2. Lara

    April 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Do you guys know if there is a difference between getting the App on the iOS Appstore or on the Android App store? Even when I follow your instructions, the part where I am supposed to change the language just doesnt exist (Unfortunately, I have an Iphone)
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Tarek

      April 9, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Hi Lara, thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately language switching option is unavailable on iOS 🙁

  3. Slater

    April 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Does anyone also have problems in verifying the phone number? I already verified my Chinese phone number and paid the deposit, now the app is asking me again to verify but I cannot insert all digits.

    • Woody

      April 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      @Slater – Same here. I fixed it by following their official account and going through the verification process on their account page versus the app. Once I got all my info plugged in and deposit paid, I went back into the app, signed in using the wechat option, and was not asked for a phone number. Hope that helps.

    • luis

      September 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      u need to verify if u have signal .. and the upgrade app

  4. ChTTay

    April 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Anyone find that the “confirm” button you need to press after you’ve inputted your passport info (including photos) doesn’t respond?

    I’ve added photos, given my name etc but when I go to complete the progrsss, nothing happens happens when I press the button. It’s non-responsive.

    I tried going through wechat and through the official app. Any ideas?

  5. kribbel

    April 20, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Regarding problem with entering the phone nunmber: We had the same. If the language setting (on Android) is set to English, then the input mask is too short for a Chinese mobile number. Switch the language to Chinese and you can enter all digits.

    Regarding the language settings in iOS: Yes, I also cannot change the language from Chinese to English. The related page on iOS just shows some status, it does not offer a language change. (I have ofo version 1.8.9) I hope they change this FAST in the next version!!!

  6. Kevin

    April 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Hello i used this bike and later when i tried to refund the fee i couldnt, it says i didnt deposit the fee but i topup the fee and couldnt refund the topup fee. Does any one know how could i get the money back? Thanks in advance

  7. Sourav

    April 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Hey, how can I add balance in ofo. I have done all above procedures. Can you suggest by picture it’s really helpful

    • Tarek

      May 5, 2017 at 12:35 am

      Hi Sourav, added the steps on “How to top-up Ofo account?”. Cheers!

  8. Sahar

    May 7, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Hi and thank you for the great info here. I’m trying to setup ofo but something goes wrong when I try to pay the 99Y deposit through my alipay account and it doesn’t accept the payment. The only think we thought of is that the phone number we are using is under my name but the alipay account is under my partner’s name, linked to his passport number. Can this be the reason? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Tarek

      May 10, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Hi Sahar, did you try with Wechat payment?

  9. Inna

    May 10, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Hi I am an American in Hangzhou, China, and I have a Chinese SIM card on my iPhone. When I try to download the OFO APP, I get a message that this app is not available in the USA App Store, and a prompt to search in the Chinese app store instead. I accept. Then I get another message saying that my account is not valid in the Chinese App Store and a prompt to switch back to the USA App Store.

    Similar problem with all other bike-related apps. The only one I could install and activate is MoBike, but it’s not widely available where I live.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • Tarek

      May 10, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Hi Inna, I am afraid that you may need to register a new Apple ID for China using different email address.

      1. Sign out from your current Apple ID (registered for USA App Store)
      2. Sign in with the new Apple ID (registered for China App Store)
      3. Download the App and install, once the app is installed you can switch back to your old Apple ID and the app should work fine.

  10. Baneesh Pookkodan

    May 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Me still have 99 balance in my wallet but until now I am not able to use – always asking to pay again
    Why this happen coming ?

    • Tarek

      May 10, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      99 is the fixed deposit and it is refundable, but you cannot use that deposit to pay for your ride. You need to add balance for your ride.

  11. Talib

    May 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

    hy..
    how can i withdraw my balance from ofo account.?

    • Tarek

      May 12, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Hi Talib, you can only withdraw your existing balance by contacting their support team at 4001 507 507 or you can send email to, support[at]ofo.so

      Following steps can help you refund your 99yuan deposit –

      Press Settings menu (top left corner of the App) >> My wallet (我的钱包) >> My deposit (我的押金) >> Refund (押金退款). You will receive the refund within 3 days.

      • alan

        August 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

        Hi Tarek, can I still get refund after 3 days?

        • Tarek

          August 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          Yes, you can.

  12. Khuram

    May 14, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, by mistake I have made my ofo account with passport pictures but I’m a student so how can I change my account settings from passport to student card

    • Tarek

      May 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Please contact their support team at 4001 507 507 or you can send email to, support[at]ofo.so

  13. mj

    May 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hello! what is this 99 rmb deposit? To be able to keep using ofo? I read that it is refundable. So if I refund,can I continue using it or not? I also read that you can’t use it to pay for your rides. So, I am confused. thanks!

    • Tarek

      May 31, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Hi MJ, you are right….the deposit is fixed, to be able to keep using Ofo but you cannot use it to pay for the rides, need to recharge your balance with additional amount to do so.

      Once you initiate the refund process you will no longer be eligible to use Ofo.

      • mj

        May 31, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Copy that! Thank you so much, such a big help.

  14. Anastasia

    June 7, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    what if I don’t need ofo app and use it anymore, how can I get back my deposit in 99 yuan?

    • Tarek

      June 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Anastasia,
      To get back your 99 Yuan deposit, press Settings menu (top left corner of the App) >> My wallet (我的钱包) >> My deposit (我的押金) >> Refund (押金退款). You should receive the refund within 3 days.

      • Sharon

        October 21, 2017 at 7:20 am

        Same problem. got back out of China and couldnt get the deposit, since there are no such options in the App from GooglePlay

  15. Steve

    June 22, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    hi, so what if I use the bike, then lock it after as the app says. then using an angle grinder, destroy the lock and bring it home to use everyday for free, will I be caught?

  16. Brogan

    July 25, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Hey there, how will I know when my account is fully activated? I did all the following, but it says my account is under review. Will the notify me when I can ride? They let me ride once and after that it said my account was under review. Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Tarek

      July 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Brogan, account activation does not take too long. Your account should be activated by now. Just give it a try…

  17. chris Holscher

    July 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Hi,
    I have a really stupid question. I have installed the APP and it is working well. I scan in the bike barcode, and the app gives me a 4 digit code. However, when I enter that code in the bike, it does not open. What am I doing wrong? Is it not just a matter of entering the 4 digits on the number pad? Is there another button that I have to press?
    thanks

    • Tarek

      July 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Chris, it is just a matter of entering the 4 digit code. It could be either broken lock or wrong code. Try with different bikes.

  18. Charles

    July 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Often I put three numbers in just fine but on the fourth number it beeps and won’t unlock? Why is this happening?

    • Tarek

      July 31, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Hi Charles, probably broken lock issue. You can report to Ofo whenever you encounter such issues.

  19. Alex

    July 30, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Hi, I’m about to use ofo to travel around.
    I just need to deposit 200¥ with my credit card number which is not Chinese based to be all set. My question is : will they charge the card one ride by one ride or they go monthly ? I’m asking cause I don’t want to end up paying commissions (~25¥) for each ride which end up being way more expensive than 1¥ at the most per ride. Thank you for your time

    • Tarek

      July 31, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Hi Alex, deposit for Ofo should be 99¥ not 200¥. Are you trying to use Ofo in China? Better use Alipay or Wechat payment instead of your credit card.

  20. MIMOU

    August 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The deposit was 199¥, but it si working though, thank you so much

  21. Rodifo

    September 7, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Hi

    I have installed the APP, paid the refundable value and everything seems ok. However, when i tried to get a bike, scanning the QR code or entering the number of the bike, i received the following message:
    “Sorry,the app can not support this car”.

    Why it happens and what i should do?

    • lynette

      September 20, 2017 at 4:31 am

      I have the same problem also

      • lynette

        September 20, 2017 at 4:34 am

        Installed the app did the process and had successful registration. But when I scan the code it’s saying ” sorry the app cannot this car “

  22. Sabin

    October 1, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you very much for the informative article. It seems that the option for changing language has been removed and app interface has been changed in the new version (14320).
    I paid ¥59 to ofo through the app but whenever I try to unlock a bike it says that I need to certify. I have filled and submitted the information and copies of my passport several times but it still keeps asking for it again and again.
    I have also emailed them at support(at)ofo.so but have not received any reply yet. I would be very thankful if you could help me figure-out how get it working.

    • filip

      October 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Hey, I am having the same problem. Uploaded the info several times but nothing happened.

      • Me

        October 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

        SAME!!!

    • Huda

      October 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Same problem

  23. Jean-François

    October 6, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Does anyone know if you can rent two bikes at the same time on the same phone number, if someone with you does not have a mobile?

    • Boris

      November 14, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Hi jf,
      Do you know if you can use 2 bikes with one account?
      Thanks et merci

  24. Bt

    October 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Hi. Does anyone knows when the deposit money is refunded, will it be directly returned to the registered bank account or to the WeChat account? Thanks.

    • Tarek

      October 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Deposit is refunded within 3 business days and will be refunded to the same account you used initially to pay the deposit.

  25. Maria

    October 10, 2017 at 1:26 am

    HI! Have a problem with app, I downloaded it yesterday and it’s a bit different from your screenshots. How can I change language to English in the new app?

    • Tarek

      October 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      The language switching option seems to be disappeared in the new version. It will automatically match with your phone language.

  26. Carole

    October 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Tried to get the refund, did what you wrote and nowhere to get it!

    • Tarek

      October 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Refund takes 3 business days. If you still have issues, you may contact their support.

      • Yuliia

        November 21, 2017 at 8:08 am

        Ofo just stole your money!

  27. Huda

    October 16, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I couldn’t verify my account i have put my number and i have paid the deposit and everything but I couldn’t finish the last step

    • Tarek

      October 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Account verification takes a while after completing the required steps, wait for a day and check again your account status. Make sure you have submitted the photos/ID as required.

  28. erik

    October 19, 2017 at 3:27 am

    I have installed the app on my IPhone and registered succesfully. I want to invite my friend which only seems possible through Facebook or Twitter. When I choose one of them a pop up appears suggesting to change settings. This doesn’t work. Where am I going wrong….?

  29. R Tharanga

    October 24, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks a lot. Very helpful to me and my friends. Now I can assist others.

  30. R Tharanga

    October 24, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks a lot. Very helpful. I can assist my friends now.

  31. Cristian

    October 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I it possible to rent two bikes with one account? I am travelling with my wife but we have only one mobile phone with us.

    • Tarek

      October 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

      You can try by remembering the passcode. Once you remember the passcode of a bike can open it again without using your mobile phone.

  32. KARKI BISHESWOR

    November 1, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I have downloade the app from the link above but it is not exactly the same as shown above but i still do my registration through we chat i have paid for deposite and top up balance also but still it asked for certify i did this with my passport but no response at all and when i tried to unlock bike still asked for certify.why? Is there any solution

    • Tarek

      November 2, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Usually verification takes a while to complete. Please make sure the photos for verification are taken as suggested in the app.

  33. Sir

    November 13, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I paid them 59元, followed all the instruction that shows in the App.
    I submitted my passport copy, and a page of my Chinese visa with arrival stamp. Still doesn’t work, it still says I need to complete certification.
    So I kept submitting it for 2 days, still nothing.
    On my third day, I call to there service, a Chinese staff said I needed to send email to support@ofo.so, attach my passport photo and wait for at least 24 hours. I did. Still cannot use it.
    I call them again, and the staff told me the same thing.
    Now on my forth day, waiting for the certify thing.

    How long do I need to wait? F**K OFO

  34. Yuliia

    November 21, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I ask about refund! I was waiting for 15 days! I still didn`t get it! Support doesn`t help. Ofo stole my 199 yuan! Where can I get my money?!

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