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.

22 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 😉

    • Tarekul Islam

      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?

        • Tarekul Islam

          April 9, 2017 at 11:12 am

          Hi Ariel, I have added the steps above to change language. If still no luck try downloading the App from this link – https://img.ofo.so/apk/ofo-bdpz-12047.apk

          Hope this helps…Cheers!

  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 🙂

    • Tarekul Islam

      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.

  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

    • Tarekul Islam

      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 🙂

    • Tarekul Islam

      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!!

    • Tarekul Islam

      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 ?

    • Tarekul Islam

      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.?

    • Tarekul Islam

      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.

  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

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