What Happened to Mobike

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Mobike is an internet-based short-distance travel solution developed by Beijing Mobike Technology Co., Ltd., founded by Hu Weiwei. It is a smart hardware with a dockless bike-sharing model. People can quickly rent and return a Mobike through their smartphones, using an affordable price to complete a few kilometers of urban cycling.

However, now it is hard to find this brand of bicycle sharing system. And when you visit its official website: mobike.com, it does not work any more.

You may wonder what happened to this bicycle-sharing system, which was so popular around the world. In this article, we will recall its history, services, key events, and more, to figure it out. Keep reading.

The History of Mobike

In April 2016, Mobike was launched in Shanghai. Users could register with their real names on the app and pay a security deposit of 299 yuan to rent a bike.

On April 22, 2016, Beijing Mobike Technology Co., Ltd. held a press conference in Shanghai to officially announce the launch of Mobike’s service in the city. The company gave the world Earth Day ‘a gift’ by advocating green travel.[1]

On October 19, 2016, Mobike launched the ‘Mobike Lite’ version. The bike weighed 17 kilograms and cost less than 1,000 yuan per bike. The cost was reduced to 0.5 yuan per half hour.[2]

On February 28, 2017, China Merchants Bank and Mobike jointly announced that they had reached a strategic cooperation. In addition to cooperation on deposit supervision services, the two sides will also deepen cooperation in areas such as fund settlement, green finance, credit card points, retail customer resource sharing and physical outlet parking services.

On March 8, 2017, the Haikou Traffic Police Union and Mobike held a cycling event called ‘Green Travel and Shared Civilization’ in Century Park to celebrate International Women’s Day. A total of 100 people participated in the shared bike cycling event, including the Haikou Municipal Public Security Bureau Traffic Police Detachment and Haikou City Civilized Traffic Volunteers.[3]

On March 13, 2017, Beijing Youth Daily reported that Beijing Mobike Technology Co., Ltd. was included in the list of abnormal business operations by the Beijing Industry and Commerce Haidian Branch. Mobike responded that the company was undergoing industrial and commercial changes after relocating and that the issue would not have a substantive impact on its business.[4]

On March 21, 2017, Mobike announced that it had begun operations in Singapore.[5]

On March 29, 2017, Mobike was integrated into WeChat Wallet’s nine-square grid.

On April 6, 2017, Mobike entered Zhijiang City and became the first county-level city in the country to introduce shared bikes. Zhijiang City signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Mobike Technology Co., Ltd. City leaders Liu Fenglei, Ding Qingrong, Huang Fangshuai, Huang Danmei and Liu Qing attended the signing ceremony.

On April 12, 2017, Mobike initiated the establishment of an open research institute for urban travel and released a white paper on shared bikes and urban development. On the same day, Mobike officially released an industry big data artificial intelligence platform – ‘Magic Cube’.

On April 28, 2017, Mobike officially entered Xiantao. Xiantao City became the first deputy prefecture-level city to introduce Mobike.

On April 28, 2017, Mobike released a ‘report card’ showing that since its full integration into WeChat on March 29th, Mobike’s active user volume increased by more than 200% month-on-month in April. In the past month, Mobike added 24 million registered users and continued to maintain its market-leading position.[6] On May 23rd, Mobike announced that it had reached a cooperation with Qualcomm and China Mobile Research Institute to jointly launch China’s first LTE Cat M1/NB-1 and E_GPRS (eMTC/NB-IoT/GSM) multi-mode field test in an attempt to build a large shared bike IoT platform.[7]

On May 26th, 2017, the China International Big Data Industry Expo officially kicked off in Guiyang. Mobike made an appearance at this year’s Data Expo to showcase its innovative achievements over the past year.

On June 9th, 2017, Mobike entered Xinji City in Hebei Province. On the afternoon of June 15th ,Mobike held a press conference at Pidu International Hotel in Xinji City to announce that it would officially enter Xinji City with its ‘Let Bicycles Return to Cities’ campaign. Deputy Mayor Zhang Liming attended the press conference and gave a speech. After the meeting he led a voluntary cycling team around Leather City for a week to try out bikes.

On June 13th, 2017, Mobike announced its entry into Manchester in the UK and simultaneously into Salford adjacent to Manchester with an initial deployment of 1,000 bicycles.[8]

On June 29th, 2017, Mobike announced that it would give away ten million monthly cards for free. Users who receive them will be able to enjoy free cycling benefits for thirty days with unlimited rides and cities.

On August 4th, 2017, Mobike Bike,the global pioneer of smart shared bikes,held a donation ceremony with the Shenzhen Museum. Two of the most representative Mobike bikes were collected by the museum, including a commemorative bike with the number 100000 in Shenzhen.

On August 30th, 2017, China’s shared bike company Mobike held a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand to announce that it would provide dockless shared bike services to Thai people and foreign tourists starting from Thailand Agricultural University.[9]

On October 24th, 2017, Prophet released the 2017 China Brand Relevance Index and the Top 50 Brands list. Mobike became the only internet travel company to make it into the top 50 brands list, ranking 14th.

On November 14th, 2017, Mobike officially settled in Sydney.[10]

On February 22nd, 2018, Mobike confirmed that it had launched a new version of its credit scoring system. When users exhibit uncivilized behavior while using the bike, their credit score will be reduced to a general level and Mobike will charge them double the current price for cycling. When their credit level drops to a poor level, the cycling fee charged will be 100 yuan per 30 minutes. At the same time, Mobike also stated that it will soon launch ‘Task Red Packet Bikes’ and ‘Operational Geofences’.

On March 8th, 2018, Mobike announced that it had officially launched its bikes in Santiago, the capital of Chile, and would gradually set up 100 Mobike smart parking points.[11]

On the morning of April 3rd, 2018, media reported that Meituan and Mobike had recently reached an acquisition agreement: Mobike will be sold to Meituan for a total price of $3.7 billion, including $2.7 billion in actual consideration ($1.2 billion in cash and $1.5 billion in equity) and $1 billion in debt.[12]

On May 2nd, 2018, it was reported that Mobike launched a deposit-free activity in six cities including Luoyang, Zhongshan, Tangshan, Mianyang, Huzhou and Yancheng.

On June 11th, 2018, Mobike announced that it would fully waive deposits for new and old users in hundreds of cities across the country without any conditions or credit score requirements.

On July 5th, 2018, Mobike announced that it would implement zero-threshold deposit-free nationwide from that day on. At the same time, the Meituan App will launch a Mobike entrance.

On August 7th, 2018, Mobike released data showing that more than 200 million users have enjoyed Mobike’s zero-threshold deposit-free cycling service.

On August 8th, 2018, Mobike announced that as of June 2018, Mobike had submitted more than 450 patent applications at home and abroad and had been granted more than 200 patents. The number of patent applications has grown at a rate of more than 200% per year over the past two years. These patent applications cover multiple core technologies in the field of shared bikes, such as smart locks and bike models.

On January 23rd, 2019, Meituan co-founder and senior vice president Wang Huiwen issued an internal letter announcing that Mobike had been fully integrated into the Meituan APP and that Mobike would become Meituan’s LBS platform bike business unit with him serving as general manager of the business unit.

At the end of February 2019, shared bike platform Mobike moved to Meituan’s headquarters office location.

On March 12th, 2019, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore confirmed that Mobike had applied to revoke its shared bike license in Singapore on March 11th, 2019.

At 23:59 on December 14th, 2020, Mobike stopped its service and was fully integrated into Meituan, being renamed ‘Meituan Bike’. The balance, cycling card packages and other related rights and interests in the original Mobike account can still be used in the Meituan App.

On August 4th, 2022, ‘Meituan Bike’ WeChat service account sent a message stating that the balance, cycling card packages and other related rights and interests in the original Mobike account can still be used in the Meituan App. If there is still a deposit in the account, a refund application can also be made through relevant guidance in the Meituan App.

On August 5th, 2022, Meituan Bike issued an announcement stating that due to an increase in hardware and maintenance costs, from August 10th, 2022 at 23:00 onwards, it will adjust the price of the cycling card package. According to the announcement from Meituan Bike, the undiscounted price of a 7-day card will be adjusted from 10 yuan to 15 yuan; the undiscounted price of a 30-day card will be adjusted from 25 yuan to 35 yuan; and the undiscounted price of a 90-day card will be adjusted from 60 yuan to 90 yuan.

Mobike bikes

Mobike Team Members

Founder: Hu Weiwei

President of Mobike: Liu Yu

Co-founder of Mobike, advisor: Wang Xiaofeng

co-founder of Mobike: Xia Yiping

Mobike Services

Service Advantages

Mobike bikes are professionally designed, integrating high-tech methods such as an all-aluminum body, explosion-proof tires, and shaft drive to make them durable and reduce maintenance costs. The customized bike shape has a high recognition on the street.

Using the Mobike smartphone app, users can use their own phones to view the location of the bike and then reserve and find it. Scan the QR code on the bike to unlock it and start riding. When you reach your destination, manually lock the bike in any white-lined area on the street to complete the return process.

Mobike has abandoned fixed bike racks and allows users to park their bikes anywhere on the roadside in any government-painted parking area. Users only need to lock the bike and leave. The lock on the bike integrates an embedded chip, GPS module and SIM card for Mobike to monitor the specific location of the bike on the road. The bike body is specially designed for shared bikes, using explosion-proof tires, chainless shaft drive, all-aluminum stainless steel body, and the entire bike can meet the standard of no manual maintenance under five years of high-frequency use. The designed bike appearance is fashionable and eye-catching, making it easy for people to find bikes while also being a unique landscape in the city.

In order to make everyone have a bike to ride, Mobike is priced at 1 yuan per half hour. It encourages people to return to cycling as a low-carbon and small-footprint mode of transportation, easing traffic pressure and protecting the environment.

Service Features

  • The dockless concept makes it easier for users to rent and return bikes.
  • Rigorous manufacturing processes make the bikes safer and more durable.
  • The designed appearance makes the bike easy to recognize.
  • The mobile app is smooth to use and can be operated by both the elderly and children.
  • Protected by patents.
  • Promotes cycling culture, alleviates traffic congestion, and reduces environmental pollution.

Bike Recycling

On May 4th ,2017 ,Mobike and China Recycling Resources Development Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as ‘China Recycling’) signed a strategic partnership agreement in Shanghai to take the lead in achieving ‘full lifecycle management’ of shared bikes, providing an initial answer to the problem of vehicle recycling.

Prior to this, the ‘Shared Bike Standard (Discussion Draft)’ jointly proposed by organizations such as the Shanghai Bicycle Association stipulated the service life of shared bikes: shared bikes must be scrapped after three years of continuous use; scrapped vehicles are not allowed to be reassembled or repaired and put back on the market; and social vehicles are not allowed to enter the shared bike service. China Recycling will provide Mobike with services such as bike recycling, dismantling and harmless treatment. Through the combination of technology and industry, it will explore the full life cycle upgrade of smart shared bikes. The two sides will build a green closed loop for the entire life cycle of shared bikes from production, use to recycling, providing mass, harmless and resource regeneration treatment solutions for the full life cycle management of shared bikes. It also provides a model solution for the environmentally friendly use of idle non-motorized vehicles waiting for disposal in cities.

Mobike Product Design

Classic Mobike

The classic Mobike uses an all-aluminum body with orange five-spoke rims. The aluminum alloy material is not only rust-proof, but also has a safety factor twice that of ordinary frames. It uses shaft drive and single swing arm with an integrated body molding process.

Mobike classic

Mobike Lite

In October 2016, Mobike launched the ‘Mobike Lite’ version. The bike weighed 17 kilograms, which was much lighter than the 25 kilograms of the small orange bike. Each bike cost less than 1,000 yuan and the cost was reduced to 0.5 yuan per half hour. The first batch will be launched in Beijing and Shanghai.

Mobike lite

Mobike Lite uses the same patents, smart locks and systems as the small orange bike. It is equipped with an integrated wheel, orange honeycomb solid tires, a silver basket and an adjustable seat (but requires a wrench). Compared to the small orange bike that relies on shaft drive for power generation, Lite uses solar power generation technology and places the solar panel in the basket.

Mobike Second Gneration

On April 22nd ,2017 ,Mobike released a new generation of smart shared bikes ‘Fengqingyang’.

The new Mobike smart shared bike ‘Fengqingyang’ retains the classic design while significantly reducing the weight of the bike. Including the frame, rim and wheel, the overall weight is lighter and even girls can easily lift it. At the same time, this product will be more labor-saving and greatly improve the efficiency of the shaft drive power system, making it more than 30% more labor-saving than the previous generation. Its ‘pneumatic lift’ seat is an industry first, allowing users to quickly adjust the seat height with a light finger flick, making cycling comfortable. The frame of the new Mobike bike is made of aerospace-grade scandium alloy material, which reduces weight while maintaining high strength. Its service life is more than three times that of ordinary aluminum alloy materials and it is the only brand in the shared bike industry to use aerospace materials.[13]

Mobike Usage

Usage Method

Conventional Method

Find a bike anytime, anywhere – open the app to see Mobike bikes around you. Then scan the code with one click to quickly unlock – just use the Mobike bike app to scan the QR code on the bike head or lock and the lock will automatically open. After parking, manually close the lock to automatically stop billing.

Scan-free Unlocking Method

As of August 2018, Mobike had widely applied the ‘scan-free unlocking’ function. Consumers can upgrade the Mobike bike app to version 7.9.0 or above, turn on Bluetooth, and unlock the bike by bringing their phone close to the lock. The WeChat mini program also supports this function. The ‘scan-free unlocking’ function will effectively curb the behavior of damaging QR codes to occupy vehicles.

Usage Questions

How does Mobike charge?

Riding for 30 minutes or less costs 1.5 yuan. If the ride exceeds 30 minutes, an additional 1.5 yuan is charged for every 30 minutes.

How do I get a refund for my Mobike deposit?

The deposit in the Mobike app can be refunded at any time. In ‘My Wallet’, find the ‘Refund Deposit’ button and click it, then confirm. The deposit paid will be refunded to the WeChat Pay or Alipay account used at the time of recharge.

Mobike’s Strategic Cooperation

On February 28th ,2017 ,Mobike and China Merchants Bank announced that they had reached a strategic cooperation and would carry out all-round cooperation in deposit supervision, payment settlement, finance, service and market marketing in the future.

On March 25th ,2017 ,Mobike and the government of Longyang District, Baoshan City, Yunnan Province signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The two sides will build the Qinghua Sea Ring Road (Red Bicycle Lane) in Baoshan into a Mobike Cycling Avenue.

On March 26th ,2017 ,Mobike and Shimao Group entered into a strategic cooperation to increase parking points in Kuanhouli and establish a smart shared bike block.

In March 2017, Mobike joined forces with Baidu Cloud to create Mobike’s smart recommended parking point (sMPL). Through positioning algorithms, it quickly locates the parking location and status of the bike, further enhancing Mobike’s control over the vehicle. With the help of technology, it assists users in orderly picking up and returning vehicles and rewards users who park in compliance. Mobike’s first smart MPL was located around the Baidu Building in Beijing.

On March 28th ,2017 ,Mobike and Lucky Air signed a strategic cooperation agreement to promote the demonstration and application of cooperation between aviation enterprises and smart shared bikes in ‘air-ground intermodal transport’.

On April 19th ,2017 ,Mobike reached a strategic cooperation with Futian District of Shenzhen and selected the first batch of hotspots such as Shenzhen Futian Tianan Digital City through big data site analysis.

On May 2nd ,2017 ,Mobike signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hanergy Mobile Energy Holdings Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hanergy Holding Group. The two sides will cooperate in the field of mobile energy, including jointly establishing a joint laboratory to study mobile energy and energy Internet solutions.

On May 15th ,2017 ,Mobike joined forces with Ericsson and China Mobile to sign a memorandum of cooperation on the construction of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. They explored in-depth cooperation in the field of IoT and digital services, accelerated the core application and global layout of new IoT technologies, established new technology standards for smart shared bikes, and comprehensively promoted shared bikes to ‘go overseas’.

On June 16th ,2017 ,Mobike completed financing of more than $600 million. China Renaissance acted as exclusive financial advisor. This figure set a record for the highest single financing in the shared bike industry since its inception.

On August 29th ,2017 ,Mobike joined forces with global international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Resources Institute to jointly launch ‘World Cycling Day’ on September 17th . They advocated the concept of ‘cycling changes cities’. This was also the world’s first cycling culture festival.

Mobike Financing Situation

In October 2015, Series Round A, several million US dollars, invested by Joy Capital.

In August 2016, Series Round B, tens of millions of US dollars, invested by Panda Capital, Joy Capital and Innovation Works.

In August 2016, Series Round B+, tens of millions of US dollars, invested by Xiangfeng Investment and Innovation Works.

In September 2016, Series Round C, Mobike completed a round C financing of over $100 million, led by Hillhouse Capital and Warburg Pincus Group. Several institutions followed up with investments, including Sequoia Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Mobike’s early investors.

In October 2016, Series Round C+, invested by Hillhouse Capital, Warburg Pincus, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, Panda Capital, Bertelsmann and Meituan Wang Xing.

On the evening of January 4th ,2017 ,the smart shared bike platform Mobike announced the completion of a new round (Series Round D) of $215 million (about RMB 1.5 billion) in equity financing. Tencent and Warburg Pincus led the investment. New strategic and financial investors included Ctrip, Huazhu and TPG. Existing shareholders such as Sequoia and Hillhouse followed up with investments.[14]

In February 2017, Series Round D, introduced equity investment from Singaporean investment company Temasek. Since early January 2017, Mobike’s cumulative financing has exceeded $300 million.

On June 16th ,2017 ,Mobike completed a new round of financing exceeding $600 million, setting a record for the highest single financing in the shared bike industry. This round was led by Tencent with participation from ICBC International, BOCOM International, Farallon Capital, TPG, Sequoia China and Hillhouse Capital.

Honors Received by Mobike

Mobike was the only company from the bicycle-sharing system to make it onto the 2017 Top 50 Brands list and was also the only company from the entire internet travel field to be selected. In the 30 main industries selected by Prophet according to the report of the National Bureau of Statistics, Mobike won the championship in the ‘Tourism and Travel’ industry.

On July 18th ,2017 ,the Ministry of Education and the National Language Commission released the ‘Report on China’s Language Life (2017)’ in Beijing. Mobike was selected as one of the top ten new words in China’s media in 2016.

In September 2017, Mobike’s app won the App Fengyun List for the previous year.

On December 5th ,2017 ,Mobike won the ‘Business Visionary Award’ at the United Nations ‘Champions of the Earth’ awards.

On December 3rd ,2018 ,the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office showed that Mobike had won the 20th China Patent Award. At the same time, Mobike was successfully selected as a ‘2018 Beijing Intellectual Property Demonstration Unit’ by the Beijing Intellectual Property Office.

External Evaluation on Mobike

Mobike is the first choice for completing the ‘last mile’. Daily commuting has never been a pleasant thing: long waiting times, uncertain schedules, crowded buses and subways, traffic jams… and on roads without public transportation, people can only rely on walking. The emergence of Mobike has freed more and more Chinese people from these annoyances and successfully promoted a healthier, more environmentally friendly and fashionable lifestyle.

As of June 2017, Mobike had about 100 million registered users who completed a total of 25 million rides per day on about 5 million smart bikes (Note: data as of June 2017).

Prophet pointed out that ‘Infinite Innovation, Infinite Life’ is one of the top five theme trends of the year, meaning that brands need to start from the user and constantly create and upgrade new products, new services and new experiences. The list believes that outstanding brands not only need to provide innovative products, but also enable people to achieve more possibilities through their products. Mobike’s smart lock feature, which allows users to pick up and park their bikes almost anywhere, is a prime example of innovation.

As of October 2017, Mobike had entered more than 180 cities in 9 countries around the world, operating more than 7 million smart shared bikes with over 200 million users worldwide. It provided more than 30 million rides per day and was the world’s largest internet travel service. It was rated by domestic and foreign media as one of the ‘new four great inventions’.

Mobike Issues

Complaints

Because it believed that there was a phenomenon of shared bikes being parked indiscriminately in the community where it managed the property, Beijing Zhixiang Life Property Management Co., Ltd. sued Mobike (Beijing) Information Technology Co., Ltd. in court, demanding that Mobike pay 100 yuan for the management costs incurred in concentrating and cleaning up the indiscriminately parked vehicles. On November 15th ,2017 ,the Haidian District People’s Court of Beijing rejected the plaintiff’s claim in the first instance. It is reported that this case is the first case in Beijing where a property company sues a shared bike for unjustified management.[15]

Malfunction

On January 18th ,2018 ,Mobike experienced a malfunction where scanning the code did not unlock the bike and the deposit was cleared. It is understood that similar situations have occurred in Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Sanya, Jinan and other places. Subsequently, Mobike responded on its official Weibo: ‘Due to network problems, some functions and information display of Mobike APP experienced short-term malfunctions. After urgent investigation and repair, Mobike’s service has gradually resumed. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to your travel.’

On July 19th ,2018 ,the Mobike app experienced server paralysis, causing a large number of users to be unable to use it. After scanning the QR code, users were prompted that the server connection timed out. Similar situations also occurred in January 2018 and August 2017.

The Acquisition by Meituan

Meituan Dianping, China’s largest provider of on-demand online services, acquired bike-sharing firm Mobike for $2.7 billion. The deal was announced on Wednesday, 4, April, 2018, but the value of the deal was not disclosed by Meituan. The acquisition will enhance Meituan’s capability to offer innovative transportation solutions with the addition of bike-sharing to existing ride-hailing and car-sharing services. Mobike will continue to operate as its own brand and continue to innovate with support from Meituan.[16]

The deal consolidates the resources of the two firms, which are backed by Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent, as Mobike faces off against Alibaba-backed Ofo, which also counts ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing as a major investor. The two bicycle-sharing companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors but have waged a costly war of subsidies in a bid to win the Chinese and overseas markets.

What Then Happened to Mobike

After the acquisition, Mobike kept providing service to its users till on December 14, 2020, at 23:59, Mobike stopped its service and was fully integrated into Meituan, and was renamed ‘Meituan Bike’. On August 4, 2022, the ‘Meituan Bike’ WeChat service account sent a message stating that the balance, cycling card packages and other related rights and interests in the original Mobike account can still be used in the Meituan App. If there is still a deposit in the account, a refund application can also be made through the relevant guidance in the Meituan App.

And at the same time, Meituan shut down Mobile’s official website: Mobike.com. When you visit it, it returns nothing.

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AUTHOR

Randy Joycelyn

Randy is the founder and editor of Cycling Soigneur. He has been passionate about cycling since he was a kid. He has been riding bikes for over 10 years. Cycling has just become a part of life.

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