We wrote about Hellobike about a year ago, when it was emerging from the battle between Ofo and Mobike with the money from Ant Financial.
It subsequently launched a carpooling service (Didi last year shut down its own carpooling service ‘indefinitely’ due to two murder cases). And today Hellobike is extending this service to more than 300 cities across China.
In the English speaking world, people might not have noticed that Hellobike’s Chinese name has already been changed to “Hello Chuxing” – where “Chuxing” should be loosely translated as “getting around”.
The proper name of Didi is “Didi Chuxing” – as many of you might already know.
Hellobike’s assault on ride-hailing market came after days of Didi scepticism (and even bashing) in China’s media.
This is not the first challenge Didi faces from a well funded competitor. Meituan went into ride hailing last year – although it did not achieve a significant scale as it had hoped.
It is probably difficult to dethrone Didi – although the constant assault by different players will surely dent investors’ confidence in Didi.
On the flip side, this will almost surely spur Didi to be more innovative in order to defend, and eventually win.