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Mobike starting Sapporo service

Jiji Press BEIJING (Jiji Press) — China’s Mobike will start a bicycle-sharing service in Sapporo in late August, becoming the first major player in the rapidly expanding Chinese industry to set foot in Japan.

Mobike has quickly expanded since the start of its service in Shanghai in 2016. Users can find bicycles nearby, unlock them and pay the fees by smartphone.

In Sapporo, parking spots for Mobike bicycles will be provided by the Seicomart convenience store chain of Secoma Co. and by Sapporo Drug Store Co.

Urban areas in Japan suffer from the problem of many bicycles parked illegally and left abandoned. If bicycle-sharing services become popular, this problem will be eased, Mobike said.

Mobike plans to provide its service also in Fukuoka.

The company’s key rival, ofo Inc., will start its bicycle-sharing service in Tokyo and Osaka as early as September in a tie-up with a company under the wing of SoftBank Group Corp.Speech

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