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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy
Chinese bike-sharing firms gear up to launch in Mexico
    2018-January-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

A PAIR of deep-pocketed Chinese bike-sharing companies are gearing up to launch in Mexico, looking to make their Latin American debut in the country that is home to one of the world’s largest and most congested cities.

Beijing-based Ofo, which has raised more than US$1.3 billion in venture capital, is eyeing Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey as it prepares to offer its service in Mexico, said Taylor Bennett, the company’s head of communications for North America.

The firm, which counts Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba as an investor, has not yet set a timetable for the launch, he said.

Ofo’s chief rival, Mobike, which has raised more than US$1 billion, has also set its sights on Mexico. The company is in talks to bring its rental bikes to Mexico City’s affluent Miguel Hidalgo borough, targeting a February launch, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

A spokesman for Mobike declined to confirm the company’s plans but said it spends time working with local governments before entering new markets.

With their foray into Mexico City, the Chinese bike-share companies would be entering a market that already hosts ECOBICI, which is run by the city government and is one of the largest public bike-sharing programs in North America. The Mexican capital is home to nearly 9 million people, with a total of more than 21 million in its metropolitan area.

The Chinese bike-sharing firms’ plans also strengthen the Chinese tech sector’s burgeoning presence in Mexico. Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing plans to launch in the country later this year.

Mexico City, with its traffic-choked streets and poor air quality, has proved a prime target for tech companies aiming to remake transportation. Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. chose Mexico City for its first entry into Latin America, and the city remains its third-biggest market worldwide.

Ofo is also preparing to offer its by-the-hour rental service in Canada, with Toronto as its top choice, Bennett said.

“Our approach is really collaborative, and what we try to do is really build from scratch the bike-sharing program that works for cities,” he said. “That’s where we are now with Mexico.”

ECOBICI, which launched in 2010 and has grown to include more than 6,000 bikes at more than 450 stations, has found a strong following among Mexico City residents. The city closes off miles of streets every weekend for cyclists. (SD-Agencies)

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