Mobike testing ride-hailing feature to challenge Didi & ofo tie-up

1 min read

Chinese bike rental firm Mobike rolled out a ride-hailing feature in its latest app update through a partnership with car-summoning operator Shouqi Limousine & Chauffer (首汽租车).

Screenshot of the Mobike app in Shenzhen

The new feature allows Mobike users to book the Shouqi’s car services within the bike rental app, and will actually be able to check the location of cars and routes without switching apps. Payments could be made either through Mobike account balance or WeChat Pay.

It’s currently only available in a few cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Wuhan, but will be offered in more cities gradually.

The tie-up reminds us of the similar app integration between Didi and ofo. Only that the current one is less natural than its counterpart given the close relationship between Didi and ofo. In addition to being a strategic investor of ofo, Didi’s influence on ofo also revealed on its power to impact the latter’s management structure. Although this is not necessarily a good thing for ofo, this will be an advantage when it comes to data sharing and more.

On the other hand, Mobike and Shouqi are not related on the capital level. Their partnership is based on the sharing of user base with similar age and consumption power, as pointed out by local media.

Either way, ride hailing and bike rental coming together under one roof makes a ton of sense in that short-term bike rentals can supplement car travel and sidestep traffic in busy urban centers while ride-hailing can cover longer distances. Given the fierce competition between Mobike and ofo, it’s no surprise that Mobike want to fill in this gap.