China's Meituan to buy large stake in Mobike: Caixin

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s largest provider of on-demand online services, Meituan-Dianping, is buying a large stake in bike-sharing firm Mobike, business magazine Caixin reported on Tuesday citing unnamed sources.

A Mobike bike-sharing bicycle is pictured in Singapore August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Caixin said the deal was brokered by Pony Ma, chief executive of Tencent Holdings, which is a backer of both companies.

Representatives for Meituan and Mobike did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. Tencent also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chinese technology portal Lanjing TMT reported earlier on Tuesday that Meituan will acquire Mobike for $3.7 billion. Caixin, however, cited a source close to Meituan’s board as saying that the amount is incorrect because the deal is not yet sealed.

Mobike, one of China’s largest bike-sharing firms, raised $600 million last June in a financing round led by Tencent. Mobike’s arch-rival Ofo is backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.

Meituan-Dianping, an online platform for ordering food and booking movies and restaurants, was valued at $30 billion last October and is now preparing for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, Reuters reported last week.

Reporting by Brenda Goh and Cate Cadell; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Carol Humphreys