A report made by TechNode
brings news that ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing will soon join Shanghai's bike-sharing market. An official statement from Didi details how their current app will 'integrate ofo, Bluegogo, and other potential bike-sharing partners, as well as Didi’s upcoming own-branded bike-sharing service.' The statement also announced deposit-free payment options for using share-bikes through their app, starting with Bluegogo bikes.
Bluegogo recently declared bankruptcy
, a moment which many thought might foreshadow a downturn for the flourishing bike-sharing industry in China. Didi's entry into the market looks set to put that off by throwing Bluegogo a lifeline with the purchase of their share-bike fleet. Still, there are no plans for Bluegogo to refund its users' deposits, though perhaps Didi's deposit-free payment options will be a small mercy for those users hung out to dry.
The integration of ofo into Didi's app will surprise those who aren't already aware that Didi is ofo's largest shareholder. Since cheap and highly convenient rental bikes present a strong alternative to ride-hailing, it makes sense that Didi would grow to absorb its two-wheeled competitors. In the same spirit, Mobike has begun piloting its own electric vehicle rental program