Mobike Announces First Plans Since Meituan Acquisition
Since its successful acquisition, Mobike has made several statements surrounding its new course of actions, including fully implementing itself into Meituan’s application as well as bringing an end to any deposits in China.
Mobike was acquired for almost $3B last April and the recently announced initiatives are meant to lift Mobike above its competition, mainly Ofo, as well as many other startups in the same sector.
As around 200 million people are signed up to Mobike, the new addition to Meituan’s app will provide them with a serious advantage due to the resources and services already available on the application. Meant to function as a one-for-all app, Meituan’s acquisition of Mobike will add bike-rental services to the already vast number of other services provided in travel, food and entertainment industries.
The acquiring company’s own users, reported to be above 300 million, already have access to Mobike and its rental service through the application. Mobike also announced their goal to fully refund all previous deposits made by its users and lift the required Renmibi deposit policy.
The decision to revoke the deposit policy was made in an effort to provide existing and potential customers with an easier process, and to set a new standard for the entire bike industry regarding initial deposits for services. This will allow for the bypassing of all of the tedious conditions required to use the app and services.
Policies regarding deposits required from bike-sharing users have proven to be controversial, although both competing bike-sharing companies have denied any allegations that deposits by customers were used to fund external operations. Users operating through smaller startups have been known to express frustration towards the deposit policy. Many claim that deposits rarely see a return to their owner and that companies are making it increasingly difficult to return them.
As a response to these complaints, officials have drawn regulations which mandate that companies operating through bike-sharing must place all deposits made by customers into independent bank accounts to guarantee that any refunds or returns will be made should any issue arise.
Mobike also introduced a new program under the name of Life Cycle to address the growing issue of abandoned bikes around the country. Life Cycle is a recycling initiative and involves several partnerships with other companies, like Dow, with all involved parties collaborating on an effort to use abandoned bike parts and recycle them for future manufacturing. Around 300,000 bikes have already reportedly been used by the new program.
A new electronic bike has been planned by Mobike as a means of increasing its trips and will be readily available on the local and international markets.