Chinese bike-sharing provider ofo and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp. (SoftBank C&S) announced that the two have reached a basic agreement to collaborate on the deployment of ofo's global bike-sharing business in Japan.
ofo and SoftBank C&S plan to enter an exclusive partnership for a large-scale deployment, with SoftBank C&S serving as strategic partner of ofo's bike-sharing services in Japan. In addition, ofo and SoftBank C&S plan to launch initially in Tokyo and Osaka in September 2017.
Japan is an important market for ofo's APAC expansion, with millions of locals adopting cycling across the country. ofo "looks forward to improving local transportation ecosystems and providing short-distance services that are well suited to the needs of Japanese cities and travelers," a press release said.
"Launching in Japan is a huge milestone for ofo. In a country where there is a strong cycling culture, we strive to further improve the convenience and cost-effectiveness that cycling can bring to people in Japan," said Lawrence Cao, head of ofo's APAC business.
Commenting on the partnership, Cao said: "SoftBank has an impressive track record for technology innovation and capturing market trends. I envision great synergy between us and SoftBank C&S and I have confidence that this partnership will pave the way for ofo's business growth and transformation, enabling us to better cater to our users' needs in Japan."
"We are delighted to work with ofo to offer an efficient and green transport solution that will generate superior convenience and contribute to environmental sustainability in Japan," said Tetsuo Kuramitsu, Board Director of SoftBank C&S. "Leveraging our business engaged in the sale, distribution and manufacturing of ICT products, we aim to promote ofo's bike-sharing business model and reinvent personal mobility in Japan."
The collaboration will see the two organizations combine their strengths to provide Japanese consumers with a "more convenient, cost-effective and healthy transportation option that caters to Japanese lifestyles."