Shar­ing bikes to pro­mote green trans­port

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - VIEWS -

The bur­geon­ing bi­cy­cle-shar­ing busi­ness, bol­stered by bike-on­de­mand ser­vice apps such as Bei­jing-based Mo­bike and ofo, has made some in­roads into an in­creas­ing num­ber of Chi­nese cities after suc­cess­ful tri­als in the past year.

Since Au­gust Mo­bike has landed four rounds of fi­nanc­ing worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. Its ma­jor ri­val ofo, which got space to park its first batch of yel­low bi­cy­cles on uni­ver­sity cam­puses more than a year ago and re­cently be­gan of­fer­ing the ser­vice to com­mu­ni­ties, is now val­ued at $500 mil­lion thanks to en­dorse­ments by big names such as Didi Chux­ing.

GPS-en­abled and painted in dis­tinc­tive or­ange, at least 100,000 Mo­bikes are in ser­vice in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Shen­zhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu. And with its sig­na­ture yel­low bikes, ofo now con­nects about 227,000 bi­cy­cles in 21 cities, many of which are col­lected from lo­cal bike own­ers and pro­duc­ers. Newcomers like Hello-bike and Ubike are catch­ing up.

The in­vest­ment spree best ex­em­pli­fies the vi­tal­ity of the in­ter­net-driven “shar­ing econ­omy” and the dif­fer­ence the ride-on­de­mand ser­vices can make as a de­riv­a­tive. Un­like tra­di­tional pub­lic bikes that have to be bor­rowed at and re­turned to a bike stand after a jour­ney, shar­ing bikes save peo­ple from such trou­bles.

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