Mobike, the Chinese bike sharing giant and largest bike sharing company in the world, announced that it had signed a 15 year deal with La Reina, a comuna, in Santiago, Chile, according to La República, a Spanish language Colombian newspaper.
Started in 2015, and having received more than $1B in investment, Mobike is currently valued at more than $3B and already has operations all over China and has recently expanded to the US, UK, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
They had originally planned to launch in November 2017, but after some delays plan to launch next month, March 2018.
“La Reina [a comuna of Santiago] will be the first city in Latin America to have mobile bike sharing,” said La Reina’s Mayor, Juan Manuel Palacios, who originally announced the deal at a city hearing in October 2017.
Unlike in China, where users can leave their bikes in any legal parking spot, La Reina is going to try a more organized system, where users must leave their bikes in painted Mobike parking zones.
Pricing is still not defined, but it’s estimated that it will be US$0.33 per 30 minutes.
“Mobike is already in conversations with other comunas in Santiago who might want to join the project,” said María Paz Troncoso, Director of Community
Planning in La Reina.
This is an exciting development for Latin America and a continuation of the mega-trend of Chinese companies and investors paying more attention to Latin America over the past 18 months. Look for Chinese bike sharing companies to launch in Mexico in 2018.