Ant Financial buys into first bike-sharing merger

A widely-expected wave of consolidation in China’s bike-sharing business finally arrives, with the operator of Alipay playing a part.

When it comes to successful fundraising, China’s bike-sharing industry is undoubtedly a textbook case, drawing billions of dollars despite the lack of a clear business model and uncertainties around profitability.

But while the industry has seen massive capital inflow since the craze started around three years ago, there isn’t any clear exit strategy. In fact, there had not been any successful case of an investor exiting a bike-sharing investment ... until this week.

This changed on Thursday when a consortium comprising Ant Financial, Shenzhen Capital Group and Changzhou Youon Public Bicycle System agreed to acquire bike-sharing startup Hellobike for an undisclosed sum, marking the first merger...

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