DIDI Chuxing, China’s ride-sharing giant, is expanding into the crowded bike-sharing sector by partly taking over the service of Bluegogo and creating its own bike unit, according to an announcement by Didi yesterday.
In the announcement, Didi said it would soon launch a comprehensive bike-sharing platform within its app. The platform will integrate the services of ofo, which Didi has a significant stake in, as well as Bluegogo, and Didi’s upcoming branded bike-sharing service.
Didi will only take over a part of Bluegogo’s business and plans to buy up Bluegogo’s bicycles as a part of its quest to enter the bike rental market. Users will be able to use Bluegogo bikes through Didi’s app with no deposit required.
When it comes to users’ deposits, Didi said it wouldn’t pay them out directly. Instead, it plans to settle the matter by exchanging them for coupons for rides with Didi, according to the announcement.
Most of the major cities in China have restricted the number of shared bikes after bikes started piling up on public roads as companies competed for the market. Bike rental operators without licenses are now restricted by the local government.
Bluegogo once ranked 6th among the top 10 bike rental startups. Since June, the company has been in trouble with its overseas expansion to the U.S. and its planned Series B financing round.