Interview: Developing China's bike-sharing into "shared language worldwide": Mobike's senior management

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-02 18:09:37|Editor: Song Lifang
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BEIJING, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Following its recent expansion to the British city of Manchester, Mobike, the Beijing-based world's largest bike-sharing operator, announced Tuesday it would enter the London market.

Mobike's vice-president and head for overseas expansion, Chris Martin, is helping bring this Chinese innovation -- a fully dockless bike-sharing system -- to his hometown, London.

The bike-sharing scheme should grow into a "shared language worldwide" to facilitate travel of the public and help foreign visitors break the language barriers of the "Tower of Babel," Martin, wearing a T-shirt saying "Mobike-U.K.," told Xinhua in fluent Chinese on Aug. 1.

Martin said that just with a city map and a Mobike, every Mobike user may go wherever he or she wants regardless of language barriers.

Mobike launched in the Chinese city of Shanghai in April 2016 and attempted its first ambitious overseas expansion in Singapore on March 21, 2017.

This "silver and orange" storm, referring to the color of the bike body, has swept through the British cities of Manchester and Salford, Fukuoka and Sapporo in Japan, and Milan and Florence in Italy in the past five months.

Martin said that Mobike has offered 1,000 bikes in Manchester in June, each of which serves nine or 10 users per day.

As the riding range has expanded from the city center to the suburb, demands are increasing, he added.

Mobike's scheme will debut with 750 bikes available for pick-up in the London borough of Ealing and more to follow according to the market demand. Users shall pay a 29-pound (about 38 U.S. dollars) initial deposit and 50 pence (about 0.67 dollars) per half hour for each use.

Martin said the bike-sharing plan is not merely China's business, and all the world can join the ride.

Combining creativity, science and technology, as well as design, Mobike is attracting many potential cooperators.

According to the man at Mobike's wheel, it is not always the operator that actively selects the location overseas, but some foreign cities that wish to promote cooperation with Mobike in their hopes of developing smart cities with an intelligent transportation system and Internet of Things (IoT).

From Asia to Europe, the Chinese operator has made changes to its scheme, taking specific regulations and customers' preferences into account. For instance, the bikes in London are all equipped with a forehead light as required.

Mobike is willing to explore ways to better adapt to the needs of each target city, said Martin.

He also said Mobike's manufacturing system has been accredited by international certification authorities such as TUV SUD, a global certification provider headquartered in the German city of Munich, and attained many internationally recognized standard certifications including the EU, British and Japanese standards.

Mobike's cooperation with the global top telecommunication operators and IoT businesses paves the way for a broader international market.

The company's globalization continues to accelerate.

Data show that with a customer base of 100 million users in more than 150 cities in five countries around the world, the bike-sharing provider is used 25 million times every day. Its service network is scheduled to cover 200 cities globally by the end of 2017.

Martin said domestic enterprises may easily acquire ideal capital resources, market opportunities and growth, but for transnational companies, high quality is the premise of development.

Mobike pays special attention to science elements, brand value, social responsibility and environmentalism. "To be a quality bike-sharing operator" is in Mobike's DNA during its globalization process, said Martin.