Mo­bike teams up to as­sist with cleft palate op­er­a­tions

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­

Bike-shar­ing startup Bei­jing Mo­bike Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd re­cently an­nounced a strate­gic part­ner­ship with the Smile An­gel Foun­da­tion, and is set to do­nate 3.65 mil­lion yuan ($529,615) to the char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion.

With its sup­port 365 chil­dren from poverty-stricken fam­i­lies who suf­fer from cleft palates will un­dergo free surgery.

Li Yapeng, founder of the Smile An­gel Foun­da­tion, said the strate­gic part­ner­ship would aim to link the bike­shar­ing op­er­a­tion with char­ity and en­cour­age mem­bers of the gen­eral pub­lic to be­come in­volved in wel­fare work.

“Our foun­da­tion and Mo­bike will work to­gether on chil­dren’s wel­fare,” the ac­tor­turned- said.

Mo­bike and Smile An­gel launched a rid­ing ac­tiv­ity on April 19 called Let’s Mo­bike, Let’s Love, in which users rode shared bikes along a route shaped like a smile and then up­loaded the re­sult onto Weibo, China’s Twit­ter­like ser­vice. Mo­bike said it would do­nate its earn­ings from the day to the foun­da­tion.

Mo­bike’s founder Hu Wei­wei said her com­pany wanted more peo­ple to con­trib­ute to the char­ity for chil­dren born with cleft palates and lips.

Cleft lips and palates are one of the most com­mon con­gen­i­tal birth de­fects in the main­land. About ev­ery 25 min­utes, a new baby with a cleft palate is be born in China, lead­ing to 23,000 new­cases ev­ery year, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment fig­ures.

Hong Kong-based med­i­cal char­ity Beam International Foun­da­tion has es­ti­mated that each surgery for cleft lips usu­ally costs be­tween 5,000 and 7,000 yuan in China, and cleft palates, which are more se­vere, can cost up to 10,000 yuan.

It said many ba­bies whose fam­ily can­not af­ford treat­ment miss the ideal time to re­ceive the op­er­a­tion.

Li Yapeng founded the Smile An­gel Foun­da­tion in 2006, af­ter his daugh­ter was born with cleft lip that year. The foun­da­tion aims to call on so­ci­ety to help chil­dren born with cleft lips and palates, whose fam­ily suf­fers from poverty.

To date, Li has led med­i­cal vol­un­teer teams to Sichuan prov­ince the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, the In­ner Mongolia au­ton­o­mous re­gion and other lo­cal places, of­fer­ing surgery for af­flicted kids. The foun­da­tion said so far nearly 12,000 chil­dren have re­ceived free op­er­a­tions.

Mo­bike, famed for its GPSen­abled shared bikes, has de­ployed more than three mil­lion bikes in 50 cities in­ter­na­tion­ally — in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou, Shen­zhen and Sin­ga­pore. It has pro­vided an ac­cu­mu­lated 600 mil­lion rides since its de­but in 2016, ac­cord­ing to com­pany fig­ures.

In­March the com­pany held an EarthHour ac­tiv­ity, as part of the international move­ment ini­ti­ated by the World Wide Fund for Na­ture, call­ing on cit­i­zens in China to par­tic­i­pate in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

The com­pany said its shared bikes had rein­vig­o­rated the na­tion’s love for bi­cy­cles as more Chinese peo­ple chose pedal power in­stead of cars to take short ur­ban jour­neys, mak­ing for a greener en­vi­ron­ment.

Mo­bike and the Smile An­gel Foun­da­tion said the two sides would con­tinue to launch a se­ries of pub­lic wel­fare ac­tiv­i­ties to­gether, ask­ing more peo­ple to help chil­dren born with cleft lips and palates.

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