Bike-sharing firm Mobike now has a way to reach the 900 million people who use China’s largest messenger app, WeChat.
Mobike has been officially integrated into the chat app, allowing users to book a ride through its in-app wallet function.
WeChat’s wallet is a popular digital payment mode in China, where it can be used to pay at stores, and to do easy money transfers to friends when splitting the tab.
With the app now listed in the wallet section, this is expected to help reduce friction for users — especially new, curious ones — to locate a bike and start riding.
Prior to this, Mobike was already available within WeChat as a “mini program”, but wallet integration elevates the app to higher prominence.
According to Mobike, the mini program helped add new user registrations through WeChat by more than 100 percent each week since it launched in January.
WeChat integration also greatly benefited China’s biggest ride-hailing app, Didi Chuxing. The ease of booking a Didi cab was but one of the factors that led to Uber’s failing to catch on in China.
Tencent, which owns WeChat, is also a big investor in Mobike.
You can probably expect Mobike’s main rival, Ofo, to do the same with integration soon. Ofo, with Didi Chuxing as one of its significant backers, indicated in December that it would release some sort of collaboration with Didi down the line.