China’s Bike-Sharing Startup Mobike Is Pedaling Into India
Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike is firming up plans for its entry into the Indian market in the next few weeks and is in advanced discussions with authorities in various cities to start services.
The company went on an aggressive global expansion spree in 2017; India wasn’t on the radar then, but that’ll soon change with a launch expected in early June.
Mobike has bold plans for India, where it freely admits there isn’t currently a strong culture of biking. The goal is to work with municipal governments and town planners to do what Mobike (and rival Ofo) did in China, which is to help cut down city congestion and provide new last-mile transit options.
The company will look to grow to 10-12 cities in India over the next 18 months but the company “aspires” to grow even more rapidly than that because there are more than 25 cities with a population of over one million people.
According to Mobike India CEO Vibhor Jain, the company will explore last mile connectivity, especially in metros. It is also in discussions with corporate parks and educational institutes in the country for introducing its platform.
The bicycles feature chainless shaft transmission, have non-puncture airless tires, a lightweight anti-rust aluminum frame, and can offer an estimated four years of repair-free cycling. After downloading the App and registering, riders simply scan the QR code on the bike and ride away.
Mobike, which offers services in 16 countries across over 200 cities, was acquired by Chinese firm Meituan-Dianping for an estimated $2.7 billion last month. “We want to be a part of the India story,” Jain said.