While those of us outside of China might be more familiar with ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, over in China, the leading ride-sharing company is Didi Chuxing who actually managed to outdo Uber, thus forcing Uber to sell their local operations to the company. Now it seems that not content with just ride-sharing, Didi Chuxing is looking into bike-sharing.
According to a report from TechCrunch, the Chinese company recently announced that they would be investing tens of millions of dollars into a startup company called Ofo that lets people borrow bikes. The use of bicycles in China is pretty common, especially when roads can get pretty congested, bicycles are a more affordable and nimble (and greener) way of getting around.
It is unclear as to what Didi Chuxing will do with their investment, but it has been speculated that they could be adding Ofo’s bikes to its app, where maybe users could locate Ofo bikes that are parked nearby and rent them. Ofo claims to have as many as 70,000 bicycles placed around 20 cities in China, with 1.5 million users taking 500,000 rides per days, so safe to say that this could quickly rack up a lot of revenue.
The concept of renting/sharing bikes aren’t new, and we have seen similar endeavors from other companies and countries in the past, but with Didi Chuxing’s investment, it could kick things into high gear (pun intended).