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SG Bike completes Mobike takeover to become largest bike-sharing operator in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Bike-sharing operator SG Bike announced on Wednesday (Nov 27) that it has completed its takeover of Mobike's licence, a move that will allow it to operate a fleet of 25,000 bicycles in Singapore. 

This makes SG Bike the largest bike-sharing company in Singapore

The other two Singapore operators, Anywheel and Moov Technology, are each licenced to operate 10,000 bicycles.

Commenting on the deal, SG Bike chief operating officer Sean Tay said: "Bicycles remain as the most flexible transport mode and we believe this position will allow SG Bike to accelerate the adoption of shared bicycles.

Beijing-based Mobike first announced plans to withdraw from the Singapore market in March, as part of efforts to rationalise its Southeast Asian operations. 

It said at the time that it was exploring several options to minimise the impact on consumers, including transferring its business to other firms.

This came after Shanghai-based oBike's abrupt exit from Singapore left users with S$8.9 million in unrefunded deposits.

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READ: Wheel woes: The rise and fall of Singapore's bike-sharing industry

SG Bike - a start-up formed by bicycle rental firm Park Cosco Recreation and estate upgrading company ISOTeam - first launched in 2017 with a fleet of 300 bicycles in the Holland-Bukit Panjang area. 

In a statement, SG Bike said its app can now be used to unlock both SG Bike bicycles as well as all existing Mobike two-wheelers. The Mobike app will no longer be able to unlock the bicycles.

SG Bike also said that it will offer free rides for trips under 30 minutes, during a trial period beginning Wednesday.

"This trial period will allow SG Bike to better manage the new resources and make any necessary adjustments to fine-tune its bike-sharing services," said SG Bike.

It did not specify an end date for the trial period, saying only that it will "end at a later date" and that users will be informed via an app notification.

It also said that bike rental fees will remain unchanged after the acquisition, with a weekly pass priced at S$3.90 and a 30-day pass at S$11.90.

Mobike users can transfer their existing credit and ride passes to SG Bike, by creating an account using the same mobile number used to register their Mobike accounts.  

SG Bike will first deploy most of Mobike's bicycles in Punggol, before expanding to other parts of the north-east region followed by the rest of Singapore.

READ: Commentary: Lessons from the fall of once-mighty bike-sharing giants


READ: Commentary: With Mobike’s impending exit, is it time to give public bike-sharing a shot?

SG Bike's majority shareholder ISOTeam had agreed in August to acquire Mobike's Singapore operations for about S$2.54 million. 

In a Singapore Exchange announcement on Monday (Nov 25), ISOTeam said SG Bike will pay an initial amount of about S$597,400 for the deal, with a second payment of up to S$214,000 based on the condition of the 7,000 Mobike bicycles stored in a warehouse here.

Source: CNA/az(aj)


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