Mobike to scrap China user deposit in bike-sharing race

Published: July 5, 2018
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A Mobike is pictured after Chinese bike sharing company MOBIKE launched its service in  Mexico City, Mexico February 28, 2018.
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Mobike is pictured after Chinese bike sharing company MOBIKE launched its service in Mexico City, Mexico February 28, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: Mobike, one of the world’s biggest bike-sharing companies, is doing away with deposits for all customers in China, amid a fierce battle to win users.

Existing users will be able to get a refund of their deposits as the company’s service also gets integrated into Meituan platform, Mobike said, after a $2.7 billion takeover of the bike company in April by Meituan, China’s largest provider of on-demand online services.

China’s Meituan Dianping acquires bike-sharing firm Mobike

“The move is designed to establish a no-threshold, zero-burden and zero-condition deposit-free standard for the entire bike-sharing industry,” Mobike said in a statement.

The company is also launching e-bikes that can run up to 70 kilometers per charge at a top speed of 20 km/hour.

Bike theft puts the brakes on China’s Mobike in Mexico City

Mobike collected a 299 yuan ($45) deposit from each user in China, which makes up a majority of its 200 million users globally. The company is competing with Alibaba-backed Ofo, which also counts ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing as a major investor.

The two bike-sharing companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors but have waged a costly war of subsidies in a bid to win the Chinese and overseas markets.

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