Mobike has announced that it is launching a strategic partnership with LINE Corporation, which operates the LINE messaging platform. The partnership includes LINE leading the A round of investment in Mobike Japan, the local subsidiary of the hire bike firm. LINE will have the largest minority stake at under 20%. Other investors in the A round have not been disclosed.

The partnership is being described as an effort to promote the adoption of dockless bike rentals in Japan, which have become commonplace in China, Mobike’s home market. The effort includes work to integrate Mobike functions into LINE, as has been achieved in WeChat in China. Integration means users don’t need a separate app for hiring bikes. Mobike Japan will have exclusive access to the LINE app which has 71 million users in Japan.

In Mobike’s release, Hu Weiwei, Founder and President of Mobike, is quoted as saying:

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...