Chinese bike-sharing outfit Mobike is partnering with Line Corp, operator of Japan’s largest messaging app, to enable Line’s 70m users to rent bicycles though its chat platform. As part of the tie-up, Line is taking a 20% stake in Mobike Japan.
The move apes the strategy Mobile adopted in China where it allied with leading messaging firm WeChat to bolster its service.
“Working together with Line, we will be able to provide tens of millions of Line users with a seamless and localized experience for finding, unlocking and paying for bikes with the Line app,” says Mobike founder Hu Weiwei.
Bike-sharing behemoth Mobike currently rents out more than 8 million bikes in more than 200 cities across a dozen countries, though it has run into criticism as its dockless bicycles have often ended up littering streets.