Bike-sharing App Mobike Ends Operations as Meituan Takes Full Control

Chinese bike-sharing app Mobike ceased operations Monday night following a full integration into its parent company, Meituan.

An updated notice on Mobike’s app, WeChat mini program and website directed users to log in via the Meituan app. Meituan, China’s largest provider of on-demand online services from food-delivery to ride-hailing, acquired Mobike in April 2018 for $2.7 billion.

Mobike was renamed to “Meituan Bikes” following the deal, and its iconic orange and silver bikes were replaced with yellow Meituan-branded ones.

All user data – including credits and monthly passes – from the Mobike app have been transferred to the Meituan app, the notice said. Users are able to log into the app with their original Mobike account.

“Thank you for your support over the years. Meituan Bikes and E-bikes will continue to accompany you on every trip. See you at Meituan,” it added.

China’s once-booming bike-sharing market took a hit in 2018 as firms fought to dominate key cities. Tencent-backed Meituan incurred a net loss of 28.8 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) in the first half of that year, mainly due to Mobike’s acquisition costs.

In December 2018, co-founder and CEO Hu Weiwei resigned due to “personal reasons”, declaring that her mission had been “fulfilled.” Four months later, Mobike confirmed its exit from most overseas markets after a period of aggressive growth.

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Its rival, Ofo, which is backed by Alibaba, had reportedly run into “immense” cash flow problems in late 2018. Founder and CEO Dai Wei said in a letter to employees that he had considered disbanding the company and applying for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, a new challenger, Hellobike, entered the market in 2016, with financial and user acquisition support from Alibaba’s Ant Financial. It’s blue-and-white bikes first popped up in China’s less-populated, smaller cities, and the strategy pushed the firm to become one of the largest bike-sharing service providers in the country.