Ride-sharing unicorn Hello Chuxing says it snags 20% of Chinese population as users

The firm has been exploring new business such as hitch-hiking and battery rental services.

Photo:Stock.tuchong.com

Shanghai-based platform Hello Chuxing announced on its three-year anniversary on Tuesday that it has now over 280 million users, accounting for more than 20% of China’s entire population, according to a company’s press release.

The firm was rebranded from the bike-sharing company Hello Bike on its two-year anniversary when it reported 200 million total users. Since the rebranding, it has been exploring new business such as hitch-hiking and battery rental services.

Hello Chuxing launched its own hitchhiking business in more than 300 cities across China in February. Hitchhiking platforms match passengers who need rides with drivers who are heading the same way, allowing both to cut travel expenses during commutes within a city or even longer journeys. The platform then takes cuts from the payments to the drivers.

The company, which is backed by a slew of investors including Ant Financial, also announced Tuesday that its battery rental services are available in Central China’s Henan province, Hunan province, and East China’s Anhui province.

In June, Hello Chuxing invested RMB 1 billion (USD 144.5 million), together with with Alipay and the world’s largest battery maker CATL, to implement a battery-sharing business for electric bike users.

Hello Chuxing’s business diversification comes after the Chinese bike-sharing sector has witnessed a turn of fate last year, highlighted by the fall of investors’ darling Ofo, which used VC funds but couldn’t generate enough cash on its own feet.