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BUSINESS & TECH

Will Mobike and Ofo Ride Off Into the Next Mega Merger?

China’s bike-sharing market grew to 3.9 billion yuan in the second quarter of 2017, with more than 100 million riders, according to iResearch. Above: riders pedal near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
China’s bike-sharing market grew to 3.9 billion yuan in the second quarter of 2017, with more than 100 million riders, according to iResearch. Above: riders pedal near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The fast-pedaling bike-sharing industry in China could be headed for a mega merger, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the cutthroat price war among car-hailing companies two years ago that created one sector behemoth, Didi Chuxing.

China’s top bike-sharing companies Mobike and Ofo have battled for nearly two years, burning through billions of dollars and forcing into the ditch smaller players who simply couldn’t compete in new fundraising and deep discounts for riders. Now Mobike and Ofo are at a fork in the bike-sharing road: Do they hop on a tandem business model – accepting one company must ride in the front – or continue what has become a two-company race?

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