Didi Chuxing has announced that it is launching its bike rental platform today in Beijing and Shenzhen. The platform will be integrated into the ride-hailing giant’s original app and will include both ofo’s and Bluegogo’s bicycles. The company plans to offer its platform in other parts of the country in the future.
The announcement came after DiDi said last week that it plans to take over the bike rental business from troubled Bluegogo. The ride-hailing firm plans to inject Bluegogo with cash to pay out late wages for staff. However, when it comes to users’ deposits, Didi said it will settle the matter by exchanging them into coupons for rides with Didi.
According to the company’s press release, Bluegogo’s blue bikes will gradually return to the streets of Beijing and Shenzhen. Users will be able to ride Bluegogo’s bikes without paying a deposit by submitting their Sesame Credit score, operated by Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Financial, local media has reported.
“By launching its bike-sharing platform, DiDi will upgrade its short-trip mobility strategy and provide various mobility options and better travel experiences for travelers on the ‘last three kilometers,’” Fu Qiang, Didi’s senior vice president said in a statement.
The launch of Didi’s new bike rental platform has yet again prompted speculations on Alibaba’s investment in ofo. In July, ofo announced its Series E of financing worth $700 million led by Alibaba and other investors including Didi. According to sources quoted by 36Kr, the majority of ofo’s shareholders have signed the investment agreement of this round of financing. However, one of the shareholders declined to sign and that one is Didi.
Editor’s note: Chinese news is rife with rumor. TechNode does not vouch for the accuracy of other media reports.