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Sharing Economy

China's major bike-sharing app Mobike to be renamed amid slump

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- A major Chinese bike-sharing app Mobike will be renamed Meituan Bike, local media reported Thursday, at a time when the country's bike-sharing services have become sluggish.

Mobike -- which launched its service in April 2016 in Shanghai and also operates in over a dozen other countries -- was bought in April 2018 by Meituan-Dianping, China's leading provider of on-demand online services ranging from food-delivery to ride-hailing.

The bike-sharing app offers rentals of GPS-enabled bikes for less than 2 yuan ($0.29) per hour. Users can find orange Mobike dockless bikes throughout cities in China.

Mobike has become popular amid concerns about air pollution in China. But the shared bicycles, which are parked everywhere and sometimes abandoned by users, have caused social problems such as blocking already overcrowded streets and sidewalks.

Recently, fierce price competition with rivals, including Ofo, has dragged down the profitability of Mobike. Ofo has also been in financial difficulties.

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