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Didi to enter already crowded bike sharing sector

Didi Chuxing will take over Blugogo's bike rental business and roll out its own bike sharing platform.

China's leading ride hailing application Didi Chuxing said it would launch its own bicycle sharing platform in the near future, and at the same time, it is set to acquire local bike rental startup Bluegogo. 

Bluegogo riders can continue to use the service through Didi’s application, and new riders as well as existing ones will have security deposits waived.

In an email statement today, it says it plans to work with partners and collaborators to offer more shared mobility options for riders in the ride-sharing and bike-rental sectors. 

It will gradually rollout a deposit-free shared bike rental service for Didi users, although no specific timetable has been given. 

Bluegogo’s riders can transfer their deposits and account balance to Didi riding or car-hailing coupons starting from January 17, and for those who do not wish to shift to Didi’s platform, Bluegogo is still working out a solution. 

Didi’s proprietary bike rental platform will connect with ofo, Bluegogo and a number of other service providers. 

Dozens of bike-sharing startups have mushroomed in Chinese cities over the past two years, where riders can unlock public rental bikes using their smartphones and pay a small amount for each bike ride. But a number of smaller players are facing difficulties amid more strict urban traffic management rules and stiff competition. 

Didi’s takeover of Bluegogo is the latest step in the car-hailing giant’s plans to expand into the booming bike-sharing sector. Didi has been an active investor in ofo, and remains ofo’s biggest shareholder after participating in two rounds of fundraising last year. 

It is also pushing forward initiatives in electric vehicles and other transportation sectors.

Didi last month said it has raised US$4 billion in funding from domestic and overseas investors as the company seeks to step up international expansion and new energy vehicle initiatives. 

Tech giants are also eager to gain a foothold in the bike rental market in order to gain more access to user behavior and other data.

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