What Alibaba's past tells us about Ofo's future

As China's e-commerce giant leads an $866 million investment that takes Ofo past bike-sharing rival Mobike in the funding race, a look at previous deals offers hints at its strategy.

An $866 million investment in Ofo, led by e-commerce titan Alibaba, has breathed new life into China's bike-sharing sector, just as it seemed the heat was going out of a sector that roared its way into the headlines last year.

In the largest single investment in the bike-sharing sector so far, Alibaba joined its financial affiliate Ant Financial, as well as Chinese private equity funds Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital and Junli Capital, to back Ofo. The deal, announced in a statement on Tuesday, came just nine months after Alibaba's first investment in Ofo, whose bright yellow bikes are an increasingly familiar site in China's cities.

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