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Mobike motors into car-sharing market

By Yang Jun in Guiyang and Ouyang Shijia in Beijing ( China Daily )

Updated: 2018-01-02

Bike-sharing titan Mobike Technology Co Ltd recently officially launched its car-sharing service in China's southwestern Guizhou province, marking the company's first attempt to expand into the short-term car-rental market.

The Beijing-based firm said last Friday that the first batch of new energy vehicles would be rolled out in Guian New Area and Guiyang in Guizhou province. Users will be able to unlock, park, lock and make payments in the same app they use to rent shared bikes via a newly added car-rental feature.

The official launch of shared cars came shortly after Mobike announced in November a strategic partnership with Guian New Area and Sitech, a local electric car company, to launch a fleet of shared automobiles, aiming to seek new momentum in the market outside its core bike-sharing businesses.

Mobike CEO Wang Xiaofeng said the partnership would help develop a smart and green transport system, as Mobike had strengths in technologies such as internet of things and mobile internet, and Guian New Area and Sitech had advantages in new energy resources and electric charging points.

"Buoyed by internet of things technologies, the new shared vehicles will be connected to Mobike's shared bikes, which will meet local residents' diversified travel needs and become a favorable means to complement the public transport system," he added.

Mobike motors into car-sharing market

Mobike's expansion into car-sharing comes as the firm's bike-sharing business has stabilized and the domestic bike-sharing market has matured.

Mobike has amassed more than 200 million users and operates over 8 million shared bikes in more than 200 cities in 12 countries, including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, the United States and Thailand.

"Actually the shared cars can provide an alternative tailored traveling choice for users, and the potential for the future market is huge," Zhang Xu, a Beijing-based internet analyst, said in an earlier interview with China Daily.

A report released last year by PwC's strategy consulting business Strategy& supported Zhang's view, saying the total fleet in the domestic car-sharing market amounted to around 30,000 at the beginning of 2016 and the overall market will continue to grow rapidly at a rate of over 50 percent.

Contact the writers at ouyangshijia@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 01/02/2018 page13)

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