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Business deals

Panasonic to team with Mobike on electric-bike rental

Japanese sharing service will offer pedal-assist cycles at tourist havens

Panasonic is betting on electric-bike-sharing catching on in Japan. (Photo by Shiko Ueda)

OSAKA -- Panasonic said on Wednesday it will explore a partnership with China's Mobike, looking to leverage its know-how for the launch of an electric-bike-sharing service in Japan next year.

The Japanese electrical equipment manufacturer will employ a system built on Mobike's expertise that can lock and unlock bicycles electronically and collect payment via a mobile app. Panasonic will initially run the service on its own, starting out with sports bikes that can be rented at tourist attractions. The company carried out a trial this summer at a Hoshino Resorts facility in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo.

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