Briefing: Nonprofit buys abandoned rental bikes for school kids in Myanmar

By Emma Lee
1 min read

Myanmar entrepreneur buys unused bicycles for poor children – Bangkok Post

What happened: Lesswalk, a nonprofit initiative launched by Myanmar-based tech entrepreneur Mike Than Tun Win, has bought 10,000 unused rental bikes left over from shuttered bike rental businesses including Obike, Ofo, and Mobike from Singapore and Malaysia. Lesswalk donates the bikes to school kids in Myanmar, many of whom lack transportation to and from school. Sponsors of the initiative paid for around half of the estimated $400,000 needed to buy, ship, and refurbish the bikes. Lesswalk covered the balance of the cost.

Why it’s important: As China’s bike rental boom cools, vast piles of abandoned bikes have become a familiar sight in many big cities in China and overseas. Bike rental operators, once hailed as environment-friendly businesses, face increasing criticism for wastefulness. The discarded bikes, some of which are unused, have been languishing due to high retrieval costs. Many bike rental firms are too cash strapped to solve the issue themselves.