Mobike wants its bikes available in 100 cities globally

Updated 2017-03-21 14:31:02 CGTN

Yet another newly-founded Chinese tech company is trying to go global: Mobike, the bike-sharing service that has poured more than a million self-designed bicycles into some 30 cities around China.

The company's CEO Hu Weiwei has said that it's going to triple its coverage to 100 cities.

There are now more than a dozen bike-sharing companies in China, and the ongoing boom has shown no signs of declining.

Among the companies, Mobike and Ofo are the two most visible in urban areas across China. The two received investments of hundreds of millions of US dollars early in 2017, from IT and Internet giants like Tencent and Foxconn.

The startup will officially start services on Tuesday in Singapore, its first non-Chinese location, where rival Ofo has also expanded, according to a Bloomberg report published Monday.

Dark side of the moon‍

As the companies expand, worries have emerged around whether the bike-sharing business is actually profitable.

Users can pay a deposit of less than 30 US dollars to start using the service, and a ride usually costs less than a dollar, sometimes zero.

Some people have expressed doubts over whether the companies are using their deposits to invest into other businesses. There is currently no official comment confirming or denying such rumors.

The bikes, although especially designed for being shared, can still be stolen or vandalized.

“Public welfare and business profits can be done at the same time,” said Hu Weiwei in a 2016 speech.

But whether that is true of his own business remains to be seen.

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