A look at China's bike-sharing hopefuls

China’s bike-sharing sector is attracting excitement, money, and imitation. FinanceAsia takes a closer look.
Shanghai, China - February 18, 2017: Parked bicycles of bike-sharing companies Mobike (red) and Ofo (yellow)
Shanghai, China - February 18, 2017: Parked bicycles of bike-sharing companies Mobike (red) and Ofo (yellow)

Chinese technology companies are frequently defined by their US counterparts.

Youku is called China’s YouTube’. Renren is China’s Facebook’. Baidu, a search engine, is usually explained to foreigners as the mainland Google’. Alibaba has been compared to eBay, Amazon and PayPal.

But there is at least one industry where Chinese entrepreneurs are setting trends for the rest of the world to follow.

Two Chinese bicycle-sharing companies, Ofo and Mobike, have managed to pull in as much as $1 billion of investment between them, according to FinanceAsia’s calculations. They have also inspired imitators in the United States.

On...

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