At the Summer Davos Forum in Dalian, Hu Weiwei, co-founder and president of Mobike, took to the stage (in Chinese), dispelling rumors of a merger with ofo and explaining that they are not yet seeking profitability.
Consolidation in the bike rental industry
Hu Weiwei said that the biggest beneficiaries of the Didi and Uber war were mobile payment companies since people had to use mobile payments to call a car. She remarked that the bike rental industry is different from the ride-hailing industry; Didi connects the drivers with the passengers while Mobike connects the object with the people.
“This business is really about density and operational efficiency. If we and the other bike sharing companies do not match in this respect, it doesn’t make sense,” she said.
Expansion over profits
Hu Weiwei said: “If we want to make money now, we can, but making money is not our first goal.”
Hu Weiwei then talked about how bike rental is actually the first step to develop their IoT platform.”Profit is not the most important goal for us for now. We are focused on market expansion,” she remarked.
Hu Weiwei said that Mobike is now prepared to expand to Japan, the UK, and the U.S., and is now in cooperation with the U.S. company, Dow Chemical to make better tires for Mobike. Launched in April last year, Mobike has entered the 130 cities in the world in 14 months, with 20 million people riding its bikes.
Dealing with local governments
For Mobike to enter many cities, many challenges are inevitable, including negotiating with the local governments. However, Hu emphasized that they are not aggressive when talking with local governments.
“Generally a local government that has self-built public bicycle system does not want to accept us, and local government with no public bicycle is still very willing to accept us,” Hu said.