WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging app with not far shy of 900 million active users, already has an array of services baked into it, like cashless payments, food delivery, and movie tickets. And now it has one more – bike-sharing.
WeChat’s users in China now see a “bicycle” button in the Wallet section of the app, allowing them to use their phones to unlock and pay for a popular city bike-share service called Mobike.
The startups are squabbling over a service that costs just a few cents.
Tencent, maker of WeChat, is one of several investors in Mobike, a #startup that has over 1 million bikes deployed across 33 Chinese cities. Mobike this month began its global expansion by rolling out to Singapore.
Mobike, founded in 2015 and with over US$320 million in its coffers, claims to be the world’s biggest bike-sharing company. In China, it’s up against an array of very similar rivals – probably the best known being Ofo, which Apple boss Tim Cook visited the other week. All of those bike-share startups are squabbling over a service that costs just a few cents. Mobikes are US$0.15 per hour.