Students pose for pictures as they use ofo sharing bicycles at a campus in Zhengzhou, China, Photo: Reuters via China Daily

One of China’s major bicycle sharing companies, Ofo, has received 1.77 billion yuan (US$280 million) in financing from Alibaba, by pledging its assets of sharing bikes twice, The Paper reported.

In early February, the company pledged a total of 4,447,572 bikes in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Shanghai Yunxin Venture Capital Co. Ltd. for a 500-million-yuan injection. The latter is a related company of Ant Financial, the fintech arm of Alibaba.

While in mid-February, a certain amount of bikes were pledged to Zhejiang Tmall Network Co. Ltd., one of Alibaba’s subsidiaries, in exchange for 1.27 billion yuan.

It was reported in September that Ofo was about to complete a deal for US$1 billion in financing, however that plan was stalled due to the rejection of a major shareholder, Didi Chuxing, who refused to sign. The latter is China’s major ride-sharing giant.

Insiders point out that this injection of Alibaba undoubtedly solves the pressing needs of Ofo.

The company operates more than 10 million yellow-colored bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries as of 2017.

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