Riders scan ofo bikes in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. (Photo/China Daily)
Chinese bike-hire startup ofo has signed a deal with Tianjin Fuji-Ta Bicycle to expand its fleet.
Under the partnership, announced on Wednesday, Fuji-Ta, a leading Chinese bicycle manufacturer, will add about 10 production lines for ofo's shared bicycles, with an annual production capability of more than 10 million units.
Fuji-Ta said the deal will almost double its annual bicycle production capability to more than 20 million units by 2017, up from 12 million units in 2016.
Dai Wei, founder and CEO of ofo, said the deal will help the Beijing-based firm expand its presence in both the domestic and global market.
"Today, China produces more than 70 percent of the bikes in the world. And China has gained advantages in the complete bike supply chain system and lower cost of making bikes."
"With expanded production capability, we will gain more strengths to enter and compete in the global market. "
Dai added that Fuji-Ta's overseas footprint will also help ofo to compete in the global market.
Starting off on college campuses in 2014, ofo now operates in 81 cities globally and is one of the largest bike-sharing service providers, valued at more than billion, according to the company.
It is locked in a fierce battle with its rival Mobike. In January, Mobike signed an exclusive deal with Foxconn Technology Group, aiming to double its annual bicycle production capability to more than 10 million units.
Ofo and Fuji-Ta also announced the launch of a global research and development center for shared bikes, to offer more tailor-made bikes to meet different global needs.