China is seeing the first merger in its fast-developing bike-sharing industry – a sign of maturation and consolidation of the market, according to Caixin. Youon Bike signed an agreement to combine its bike-sharing unit with Hello Bike, the former said in a statement on Tuesday. The announcement was later confirmed by Hello Bike, but details of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Jiangsu-based Youon has traditionally focused on selling and managing city-run bike-rental systems, with fixed return docks distributed on major roads. Since early 2016, however, these city systems have begun to be overtaken by private dockless bike-sharing services. The industry has seen a frenzy of nearly two dozen competitors pop up across the country over the last two years. But the expensive and cutthroat market has caused several bankruptcies. Hello Bike is a distant third in the sector, behind Mobike and Ofo, according to statistics from consultancy QuestMobile. With the merger, Youon hopes to crack their duopoly.
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