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China's Mobike confident to go global

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-15 09:29
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NEW YORK — China's bicycle-sharing company Mobike Technology Co can surely outspread its successful bike-sharing model across the world, Florian Bohnert, head of international expansion at Mobike, said on Wednesday.

"Whether we are talking about a potential user in China, in the US or in Europe, they all have the same need for short urban commutes. That's reliable, affordable convenience (which Mobike can provide)," Bohnert told Xinhua on the sidelines of China Institute's conversation - From bike-sharing to blockchains: can China really go global?

As one of China's largest bike-sharing platforms established in January 2015, Mobike now is operating in 165 cities in China as well as 11 cities overseas, including the US capital of Washington D.C., which was landed on Sep 20, 2017.

Bohnert outlined four main reasons supporting Mobike's global expansion.

First, bicycle is a kind of tool which is quite universal, and most people know how to ride one even as a kid, whether it is in China, in France or the United States. Bike-sharing is a very effective way to improve the traffic efficiency of the first and last mile.

Second, bike-sharing is not only about bikes, but also more about technology. The bikes are the tip of the iceberg representing maybe only 1/3 of the whole story.

"We also have the whole data management platform, and we have some kind of smart parking that we already proactively rolled out," Bohnert noted.

Mobike generates over 30 TB (terabyte) of data daily as all eight million bikes have the GPS (Global Positioning System) embedded.

"Everything that we do is really focused on leveraging technology to solve those for short urban commutes," he said. "It's not culture focused, it's not city focused, it's about leveraging technology and whatever new technology comes our way. We will probably integrate that to make the service even better."

Third, Mobike does operations abroad in a responsible way. Mobike never just goes to a city and puts bikes on the street without letting the government know. Instead, Mobike would talk to the government beforehand and come up with a detailed plan to roll out the scheme in the city.

"We have full government support wherever and whenever we launch (our bikes-sharing service)," Bohnert said.

Fourth, Mobike's management team has a global multi-culture. Mobike has staff from all over the world, including China, French, North America and South America, and a lot of those talented people even come from very large companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon, which gives Mobike an advantage to go global.

"Like Uber's executive once said, you don't turn up on every corner of the earth overnight. Rather, you work your way through a list of priorities. I feel like that is very much the approach we take," Bohnert said while talking about Mobike's strategy to expand globally.    

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