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ofo携手Paytm进军印度市场

昨日,中国自行车共享公司ofo宣布与印度移动支付服务商Paytm合作进军印度市场。

这项自行车共享服务将首先落户班加罗尔、金奈、印多尔、艾哈迈达巴德和普纳等主要城市。目前,ofo已经与浦那市政公司签署了谅解备忘录。

本次合作达成之后,ofo服务已经覆盖20多个国家250多个城市,全球注册用户超过2亿。

而本次合作的另一方Paytm也表示,截至去年11月底,该平台已经累计吸引个体用户2.8亿,商家用户500万。这样的用户基数无疑为ofo推广其自行车租赁共享服务提供了良好的基础。

其实,ofo在印度当地也会面临很多竞争。包括Ola、Zoomcar、Yulu等在内的多家共享出行企业都已经在去年开始了小范围自行车共享服务实验。

在印度的许多城市,混乱的交通和猖獗的车辆污染非常普遍,很少有专门的自行车道,而且路面通常非常狭窄,要么被商贩占用,要么年久失修。因此,如何保证人们妥善使用和停放自行车也是一个不小的挑战。

 

Ofo has confirmed in a press release that it’s launching its service across seven Indian cities: Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai. The company noted that it will be supported by Paytm to enable mobile payments for renting out bikes.

Our original story from earlier in the day follows.

Chinese bike-sharing company ofo has slated to launch its platform in India today, in partnership with mobile payment service Paytm, reports Livemint.

The Beijing-based firm is expected to make its bikes available in major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad, and Pune; it’s already signed an MoU with the Pune Municipal Corporation last week. With that, ofo will add to its long list of more than 250 cities in which it operates across 20 countries. The company, which counts Alibaba among its shareholders, claims to have more than 200 million users worldwide.

According to the Times of India, ofo has already begun operations in smaller cities in the country, like Indore. The move to partner with Paytm – hinted at by the payment company’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma in a recent tweet – should help it expand to reach more people as it branches out to larger metros.

At the end of last November, Paytm claimed to have 280 million registered users, and 5 million merchants on board. With plenty of people using the service to pay for purchases and transfer money to contacts with digital wallets, it makes sense for ofo to want to join forces and tap into a large user base that’s already spending cash through their phones to rent its bikes out to them.

When it expands across the country, ofo will find itself going up against the likes of ride-hailing giant Ola, as well as self-drive car rental firm Zoomcar, and Yulu, which was launched last November by InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta – all of which are experimenting with small-scale trials of bike-sharing services there.

What remains to be seen is just how these companies tackle the challenges of getting people to opt to bike around Indian cities, as well as ensuring that bicycles are properly handled and safely parked. Chaotic traffic and rampant vehicular pollution are common in many Indian cities, and few of them feature dedicated bike lanes.

Parking bikes – and doing so in an orderly manner without special docks to hold them – could also prove to be difficult, as pavements in a number of Indian cities are either too narrow, taken up by vendors, or in a state of disrepair that won’t allow for dropping off bicycles when you’re done.


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