Leading Chinese bike-sharing start-up Mobike said Thursday it will begin service in Fukuoka later this year, making Japan its third overseas market after Singapore and the UK.
"Mobike is very excited to enter the Japanese market, and Fukuoka City, known for its innovation and dynamism," said Mobike's head of international expansion Chris Martin.
"Fukuoka city government and the Fukuoka Directive Council (FDC) have given Mobike an incredible platform from which to expand our business in Japan."
Mobike, which has already established a subsidiary in Fukuoka, said in a statement it was committed to providing smart bike-sharing services in collaboration with local government across Japan.
The company started its business in Shanghai in April last year and so far has spread to over 100 major Chinese cities, as well as Singapore, and Manchester and Salford in the UK, with 5 million bicycles worldwide.
The company now plans to be operational in 200 cities by the end of this year, said CEO and founder Davis Wang.
"We welcome Mobike's easy-to-use bike-sharing service in Fukuoka City, which adds vibrancy to the city's long-established cultural heritage," China Daily quoted Mayor Soichiro Takashima as saying.
"We look forward to the benefits Mobike will bring with the reduction of automobiles, and the positive impact Mobike's eco-friendly bike-sharing service can provide," he added.
Last week, the bike-sharing service provider announced it had attracted 600 million US dollars in its latest fundraising round, bringing the company's investment for 2017 to nearly one billion US dollars.
Mobike users can locate a bike using an app and unlock it by scanning a QR code on the bicycle. It only costs 1 yuan (0.15 US dollars) per hour, and the rider can leave the bike anywhere they want, without having to return it to a specific location.
Bike-sharing has grown into a massive phenomenon in China over the past few months, with a dozen companies offering colorful bikes and ever-bigger deals to attract users.