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China's 'four great new inventions' in modern times

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-08 10:25

China's 'four great new inventions' in modern times

Mobikes are lined up on a street in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province. Sha Lang / For China Daily

BEIJING - In recent years, a number of China's technological innovations have been making their moves in the world. Among them, four stand out with a reputation of China's "four great new inventions" in modern times, which have made the daily life of the public more and more convenient.

Dockless shared bicycles

Presently, there are over 30 bike-sharing companies in China that operate around 10 million bicycles for shared use to individuals in dozens of Chinese cities.

Although the service of shared bikes originated from Western countries, China surprised the world with a business model of station-less shared bikes that spearheads the sharing economy.

Compared with traditional shared bikes, dockless bikes allow users to simply pick up or park a bike anywhere on the street, instead of at designated docking points.

By combining GPS, smartphone apps, mobile payment and Internet of Things technology, China's system of dockless shared bikes provides the public with a convenient and affordable transport alternative.

To unlock a bike, you need to scan a QR (Quick Response) code on a shared bike through a smartphone app. To finish riding, you manually lock the bike and pay for your ride though mobile payment services that are connected with the bike app, such as AliPay and the WeChat wallet.

China's two leading bike-sharing operators, Mobike and Ofo, have been gearing up for global expansion.

Mobike entered Singapore in March and Manchester, Britain, in June. Its distinctive orange bikes can also be spotted on the streets of Florence and Milan, Italy. This September, Mobike is set to land on the soil of London. Ofo, similarly, has begun operating in the United States, Britain, Singapore and Kazakhstan.

In the financial market, the two rivalries have also gone neck and neck. In June, Mobike raised $600 million in a Series E financing round led by China's Internet titan Tencent, the largest in the global bike sharing industry to date. Now, the company's total funding has reached nearly $1 billion. In February, Ofo also raised $450 million, which valued the company at $1 billion.

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