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Power bank providers Soudian and Jiedian merge to amp up challenge against newly listed firm Energy Monster 

Written by Song Jingli Published on     2 mins read

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The power bank rental service market in China is expected to grow from RMB 9 billion in 2020 to RMB 106.3 billion by 2028.

Shenzhen-based power bank providers Soudian and Jiedian will merge to jointly establish a new company, under which the two brands will continue operating independently, 36Kr reported on Friday, citing official announcements.

A new board of directors will be set up by the parent company, with a joint CEO system to decide on the future strategies of the two brands, according to the announcement. Jiedian and Soudian will share their resources in supply chain management, customer services, software, and hardware development while maintaining their original businesses.

Soudian also announced on Thursday the completion of two fundraising rounds. The firm collected over RMB 800 million (USD 122 million), which will be allocated towards developing new hardware and software.

The merger comes as rival firm Energy Monster was listed on Nasdaq on Thursday under the name Smart Share Global (NASDAQ: EM). The Shanghai-based firm, which counts Alibaba and Xiaomi among its investors, raised about USD 150 million in its IPO, closing at USD 8.54 per share on its first trading day, slightly higher than its IPO price of USD 8.50.

Energy Monster, Soudian, and Jiedian offer shared power bank devices at venues such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and training centers in China. Users can unlock these devices to recharge their mobile phones and pay as they go.

While offering similar services to individuals, these firms differ in their business models.

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Soudian produces power bank cabinets and has sold its devices to about 20,000 distributors. The company has shipped more than 1 million sets by the end of 2020 to over 30 countries, according to the 36Kr’s report. In China, the company sells its devices to shops, companies, and agents, while it runs a WeChat platform to manage the rental of these devices to customers, taking a fee for the rental service.

Unlike Soudian, Jiedian, which was founded in 2015, runs a direct operation model. The firm places and manages a network of power bank devices in different venues across China. Jiedian has gained 300 million users by November 2020.

Energy Monster directly controls a network of devices, while it also operates through network partners, according to the company’s prospectus. As of December 31, 2020, it has placed its devices in 664,000 locations in China. The company has gained 219.4 million registered users by the end of 2020, and generated RMB 2.8 billion (USD 430.6 million) in revenue in 2020, up 38.9% year-on-year, according to Energy Monster’s IPO prospectus.

China’s mobile device charging service market is expected to grow from RMB 9 billion in 2020 to RMB 106.3 billion by 2028, said Energy Monster in its prospectus, citing an iResearch report.

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