Users in China can now unlock Mobike directly from WeChat

Sainul Abudheen
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The functionality will be added to the wallet section of WeChat, where users will be able to launch the ‘miniapp’ directly and immediately scan the QR code to unlock their Mobike

Mobike, a leading smart bike-sharing platform in China, has announced a strategic partnership with WeChat to allow its users to unlock a smart-bike near them directly from the social networking app.

The functionality will be added to the wallet section of WeChat, where users will be able to launch the ‘miniapp‘ directly and immediately scan the QR code to unlock their Mobike. Rolled out in January this year, Miniapp is a feature embedded within WeChat that allows users to open certain mobile apps downloaded on WeChat directly.

WeChat, owned by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, already enables users to access popular third-party services such as Didi Chuxing’s ride-sharing platform, restaurant takeout and food delivery provider Meituan Waimai, dining and entertainment ratings and group buy platform Dianping, and JD.com’s e-commerce platform, without leaving the app.

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“Through this integration with WeChat, we offer their massive user base a number of new ways to quickly and conveniently access Mobike’s service. Moreover, WeChat’s unrivalled reach right across China enables us to bring our offering to even more urban travellers, and further our mission of bringing more bikes to more cities through our truly smart biking platform,” Mobike’s Co-founder and CTO Joe Xia said.

Tencent is one of Mobike’s leading investors, which in January this year led its US$215 million in Series D financing round, along with Private Equity giant Warburg Pincus. Tencent and WeChat are also working closely on product, marketing, and user-focused initiatives.

Zhaohui Li, General Manager of Investment and M&A at Tencent and Partner at Tencent Investment Management, said, “Mobike is the first, largest and most innovative bike-sharing company, and its smart platform sets the standard for the industry globally. We share Mobike’s commitment to advocating cycling as a convenient and effective solution to the last mile transport challenge, and we are delighted to offer our users an even more convenient Mobike experience. With the new Mobike entry point directly in the WeChat app, and the ability to use WeChat’s scanning tool to unlock Mobikes, our 889 million monthly active users can experience an even more enjoyable cycling experience.”

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Founded in 2015, Mobike is a smart bike-sharing is platform. Using its specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users of its smartphone app to find a bike near them and unlock it using their smartphones. After reaching their destination, the user parks the bike by the roadside and locks it automatically, making the bike available to other Mobike users nearby.

The company officially launched its service in Shanghai in April 2016 and in less than a year, it has expanded to 36 cities across China. The firm currently operates more than 1 million bicycles in China and has accumulated more than 500 million trips. The company launched its first international operation in Singapore a week ago.

Also Read: “Anything can happen”: Ofo and Mobike investors talk about bike-rental war

In January this year, Mobike announced a strategic partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant behind Apple’s iPhone and numerous other major electronics devices. A month later, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and existing investor Hillhouse Capital made a strategic investment in the startup.

 

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