Venerable Shanghai Bicycle Brand Gets Funds to Move Up Gear in Sharing Economy

Sector giants Ofo and Mobike have been the darlings of investors as their ubiquitous bicycles spread through China’s cities in the past two years, returning the country to an age when pedal power dominated. But boom has turned to bust for some in this saturated market. Bluegogo, the number three player, went bankrupt last month.

Forever’s new venture is a latecomer, but the timing is good and it has government support, said a representative for Qianchuan Capital Co., which took part in the funding round. Forever launched its bike-sharing business last May.

Founded in 1940, Shanghai Forever Co. became one of the earliest listed bicycle makers in China in 1993. Zhonglu Group bought it in 2001 and renamed the firm Zhonglu Co. Forever’s bike-sharing unit and Zhonglu Co. own the Forever brand together. The Shanghai government hopes to see the brand survive, Zhou said.

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