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New Mobike models for bike rental service

By Luo Wangshu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-10-19 19:29

New Mobike models for bike rental service

A reporter uses her cellphone to scan the QR code on a mobike in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]


Some silver and red public-sharing bicycles were released in Beijing and Shanghai simultaneously on Wednesday, wooing China's cutting-edge population in big cities.

The bike is the new product issued by start-up, private and on-demand bicycle rental service company, Mobike.

Compared with the older version, the new bike, called Mobike lite, is lighter, with a basket and use of solar energy.

Mobike was first put into use in Shanghai in April, before entering the Beijing market in September, encouraging people to ride the public-sharing bike over short distances, aiming to solve the "last mile" problem in mega cities.

Many people ride a Mobike for a short trip, such as from home to the subway, subway to the work place or to a grocery store. These riders do not own the bikes but rather "rent" them at a low price. It is not super technical. As long as you have a smartphone and 299 yuan as a deposit, you can easily "rent" the bike from your phone.

The innovative part of Mobike is it boasts an embedded GPS system, a free-floating parking mode and a burglar-proof design lock.

Compared to other public-sharing bikes, the benefit of Mobike is that users do not need to go to a specific parking lot to pick up a bike or return it. Whenever riders want to use a bike, they can open the app on their phone and search for the nearest available bike. With the installed GPS system, the app will show the user the available bikes. They can scan the QR code on the bike, the bike will unlock and is free to use. When the trip ends, users can park the bike in any public area along the street, and scan the code to pay for the trip.

China was the kingdom of bicycles. During China's "golden age" of bikes from 1980 to early 2000, bikes were the major form of transportation for urban residents. In mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, almost everyone had a bike. There were still photos showing the streets being swarmed with hundreds of bikes, especially during the rush hour.

As the economy rose, cars gradually replaced bikes. The kingdom of bicycles deteriorated, and people now prefer to drive. Also because of the air pollution, people are reluctant to ride bikes. The scene of hundreds of bikes on the street can only be seen in the bicycle racing field.

"Mobike aims to bring people back to cycle," said Hu Weiwei, founder of Mobike.

New Mobike models for bike rental service

Reporters ride a Mobike in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

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