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Culture Notes: Shared bicycle

In this article, Dr Li will discuss the shared bicycle in China.

In recent years, lots of bikes are colored yellow, blue and green. They can be seen everywhere on China’s streets, often near subway stations, bus stations and by the roadside. This is called bike sharing. It was first implemented in 2016. The introduction of bike-sharing schemes was pioneered by some start-ups like Ofo and Mobike.

Using shared bikes is very convenient. By using smart phones, people can unlock shared bikes very easily. These bikes are equipped with GPS so that people can find the location of the bikes on their phones anytime and anywhere. The bikes can be left anywhere in public so it is not surprising to find that the bike-sharing system is able to solve‘the last mile’ problem. When people get off a subway or a bus, they can ride the shared bikes to go home, go to their companies or anywhere which is neither quite far nor quite near. Moreover, shared bikes are cheap, only 1 yuan for an hour. For these reasons, this bike-sharing scheme is very popular among Chinese.

Bike-sharing is a greener method of transportation and provides a user-friendly experience. It is a combination of online and offline business, which is a by-product of the mobile web era. But due to a lack of business model experience, a lot of problems emerge such as illegal parking, vandalism and theft. A lot of bikes have to be replaced by new ones or need to be repaired. There is still a lot of room for improvement.

Shared bicycle :共享单车 gòngxiǎng dānchē

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