China’s bike-sharing giant Hellobike renamed itself Hello TransTech (or Hello Chuxing in Chinese) during a press conference to mark it’s two year anniversary on September 17 in Shanghai. The renaming move comes as the company makes forays into a variety of vehicle-sharing businesses outside of bike-sharing, including in the moped scooter-sharing space and building more alliance with travel industry business leaders.
Hello TransTech CEO Yang Lei also announced the company’s partnership with the Shanghai Metro to create intelligent transfer systems between railway stations and popular bike parking spots. Both sides will jointly explore the new cooperation concept, known as the “Metro and Bicycle Integrated Smart Connection,” and work together to promote fast transfers between transport hubs to ease traffic and decrease commute time.
In addition, the company introduced its fifth-generation smart lock to the public. This breakthrough, which makes use of its bluetooth adaptive technology, will allow the app’s map feature to pinpoint a bike’s location with a margin of error of only ten centimeters. This feature will fully improve the platform’s efficiency and will be put into use in October.
Entering the bike-sharing industry late compared to rivals Mobike and ofo, Hello TransTech’s business strategy has proven effective, as the service has become popular in 3rd and 4th-tier Chinese cities before trying to compete with industry giants Mobike and ofo in the country’s largest urban centers. As of now, over 200 million people use Hello TransTech’s services in more than 300 Chinese cities, the company said. The bike-sharing platform has made bold moves, including teaming up with Alibaba-backed Sesame Credit in March to offer users with personal credit scores of 650 or more deposit-free bike-sharing services throughout China. Following in Hello TransTech’s footsteps, Mobike started to introduce similar deposit-free policies in June.
Last December, the company secured USD 350 million in a series D1 round of funding led by Alibaba’s financial subsidiary Ant Financial, and raised another USD 152 million for series D2 funding round from Fosun Capital. Hello TransTech also plans to cooperate with other leading Chinese ride-hailing platforms such as Shouqi Chauffeur, Didi Chuxing, and China’s leading mapping and navigation company, AutoNavi, to provide users better transportation experiences.
(All photos from Hellobike)