Tim Cook Visits ofo the Bike-Sharing Startup in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Chinese bike-sharing startup ofo Tuesday, as the ride-sharing companies in the country wage an aggressive fight for investor’s money and share of the market.

Cook visited ofo’s office in Beijing. The startup is known for the yellow bikes it uses. Cook met with the founding members of the company that included Dai Wei the CEO according to ofo and a microblog of Cook.

Cook, through his official blog, thanked the ofo staff for their warm welcome and said that there was strong energy behind the company’s mission to make today’s commuting more efficient, greener and fun.

He also was seen in photos riding one of the yellow ofo bikes.

The visit by Cook comes amidst a fierce battle for market share and investors amongst the startups in bike-sharing across China. Large worldwide tech investors have been attracted to the bike sharing startups.

The competition amongst the bike-sharing companies has been compared frequently to that amongst the ride-sharing leaders Didi Chuxing and Uber about one year ago.

Ofo, which already has Didi as one of its investors, had said that the Apple CEO visited the company Tuesday, but did not discuss any collaboration or investment.

Earlier in March, ofo was able to raise over $450 million and saw its market value exceed the $1 billion level.

Ofo and Mobike, its biggest rival, are amongst a growing number of companies offering bike-sharing that have been established in China that give users the ability to find, pay to rent and unlock trackable bicycles by using smartphone apps.

It targets a younger consumer that wants to move around without taking public transport or become stuck on the congested roads.

Ofo is located in 43 cities across China with over 2.2 million bikes. The company also has pilot schemes for California, London and Singapore.

Mobike, based in Shanghai, has raised over $300 million in 2017 from different investors that included Tencent Holdings, Warburg Pincus and Temasek Holdings, a Singapore government investor, said company officials Tuesday.

The ride-hailing and ride sharing business has grown rapidly worldwide with startups popping up around the globe all trying to compete against the larger companies that have become successful and received large sums of money from large investors.

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