Typhoon Mangkhut pounds rental economy in southern China

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Bike rental, ride-hailing, and logistics services in China’s Guangdong province were suspended as Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall over the weekend, according to local media.

Chinese mobility services including those offered by ride-hailing giant Didi and Meituan-owned bike rental firm Mobike were temporarily stopped.

The typhoon, which is one of the region’s most powerful in decades, also caused the suspension of transportation services in Guangdong and Hong Kong, where train services were halted and flights were canceled.

Didi suspended numerous offerings—including taxi hailing, Express, and bike-rental,  in seven cities including Zhuhai from 4 am to 5 pm yesterday. However, in Shenzhen, the company’s Premier service was exempt from interruptions. It’s designated driver service, which allows drunk drivers to be transported home in their own cars, will be suspended until the morning of September 18.

Mobike’s service suspension lasted from the early hours of September 16 until this morning (September 17).

Courier services were also affected by the typhoon. SF Express suspended services in Guangdong, Hainan, and Hong Kong in order to protect employees and goods. The company said it would resume operations as soon as it could.

Take out services were also interrupted. Alibaba-owned Ele.me said that users in Guangdong would not be able to make use of its delivery service. The company said the timeframe of its closure would be dependent on weather conditions.

Mangkhut is not traveling inland and is expected to hit Guizhou, Chongqing, and Yunnan later today. It remains to be seen whether similar suspensions will be imposed there. Over 2.5 million people were evacuated from southern China. Before battering Hong Kong and Guangdong, the typhoon made landfall in the Phillippines, killing at least 33. Mangkhut is expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression as it moves toward the interior of the country.