Panasonic announced on Nov. 7 that it will explore collaboration with China’s Mobike “to jointly develop and provide highly convenient bikes for bike sharing and rental service users.”
E-bikes connected with the Internet of Things (IoT) allow users to unlock them with smartphones and record riding data. High security, traceability and control parking location is available with GPS on bikes. And Mobike’s shared bikes feature an electronic lock which users can unlock by scanning the QR code.
“Unless the bikes are electric, bike-sharing is unlikely to take root in Japan,” Eiichi Katayama, an executive officer at Panasonic and president of Panasonic Cycle Technology, told reporters.
The Chinese bike-sharing company, which was founded 3 years ago, is a bike-sharing market leader in China with a market share up to 60 percent in 2017, according to Sootoo .
As part of Mobike’s global partnership strategy, Mobike Japan started business in August 2017 in Sapporo. The company also opened branches in Thailand, Singapore and Germany.
Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd, a division of Panasonic Corporation specializing in bicycles and accessories, is also a key player in the Japanese e-bike market. According to Digital Journal, Panasonic is among the top ten players in the global market.