Partnership with Line will connect Chinese bike-sharing company Mobik with Japan.
Chat app Line will acquire up to 20% of Mobike’s Japanese unite with a deal to combine Mobike’s dominant position in Chine with Line’s 168 million users.
Starting in the beginning of 2018, Mobike will be offering bike-sharing through Line’s messaging app. The users can locate nearby bikes, unlock them, and pay to rent all from the app itself.
Line can use his deal to solidify its position as a one-stop platform, one from which users can shop, order home deliveries, play games, communicate with other users, make payments and now, even ride a bike.
Line isn’t the only competitor looking to make a deal with Mobike. Tencent’s WeChat is also an investor in the scooter sharing platform.
The partnership is intended to answer two challenges Mobike faces in Japan, a lack of brand recognition and limited use of mobile payments.
“Our ambition in Japan is to work with industry-leading Japanese partners like Line, as well as local governments and communities, to bring Mobike to more cities in Japan and to set the global standard for bike sharing,” said Hu Weiwei, founder and president of Mobike.
On top of setting sights on more cities in Japan, Line is looking to push partnership with more countries, spreading to Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Idezawa said there is a possibility “and I think it is an interesting idea.” But he emphasized the immediate priority is to make the service popular in Japan.