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Didi to start bicycle rental services soon

By Ouyang Shijia and Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-10 09:05
A mobile phone user uses the taxi-hailing and car-service app Didi Chuxing, Feb 22, 2015. [Photo/IC]

Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-sharing company, said on Tuesday that it will soon unveil its own-brand bike-sharing service, as part of its broad efforts to build a comprehensive platform within its app, which will integrate Ofo Inc, Bluegogo, and other potential bike-sharing partners.

The move came as Didi reached a cooperation agreement with Bluegogo, once a popular Chinese bike-sharing service provider that is currently facing rough weather.

Under the deal, users will be able to use Bluegogo bikes on Didi's app with no deposit required. They will also have the option of converting Bluegogo deposits, privileges and app top-up values into Didi bike and car ride coupons of an equivalent value. Users may also choose to communicate with Bluegogo for other alternatives.

Didi's announcement marks the company's ambitious goal to become an integrated shared mobility platform.

It came shortly after Mobike Technology Co Ltd, a major bike-sharing player, entered the car-sharing business.

Raymond Wang, partner of Roland Berger China, said Didi's foray into the bike rental business came as shared bikes have become a key part of the mobility sector for short trips.

"It is important for Didi to cooperate with other third-party mobility service providers," Wang said. "The announced own-brand services will help it have a better understanding of the bike-rental business. It will also help the company to cater to consumers' specific needs and better serve the users."

Wang added, as a platform-based internet company, Didi will probably not take the offline asset-heavy approach as the key direction.

Bao Jun, an analyst at market research company iResearch Consulting Group, said compared with its counterparts, Didi had advantages in abundant cash and resources, which would make it easier to make quicker moves.

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