Fun going around in Shanghai – Mobike

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This is a guest post, read more here.

I’ve been invited to share my life in Shanghai for a while but haven’t met such a great  motivation to compose an article until I tried Mobike today. 

I believe it’s not rare to hear about public bicycle. But there were so many shortcomings which used to annoy me a lot. As you may have experienced, you need to go to an office to register an account, an appointed spot to pick up and return the bike. Most of the case, I ended up with no spare bike when I routed my way specifically to the bike storage spot because the short of amount and maintenance. 

At the end of my working time today, I needed to go to the badminton court for weekly exercise with my friends. It’s like 3 km away from my office. What I used to do was to take a bus and then walk there, which took me about 20 min. Today, I started a totally new journey with Mobike.


Starting from zero, I downloaded the app for seconds, took just another minute to register an account and bound my Alipay payment tool.  Yes, we need ID number to increase user’s reliability and deposit 299 CNY (40 euro) by Alipay or wechat payment method. Before I stepped out of the office, I could find where the spare bikes were locating around me and I could reserve one bike for me for 15min. Great, the closest one is just 20 meters. Here I go, just less than two minutes’ tapping on cellphone, I can already start bicycling. 

By scanning the QR code on the bike, it was unlocked automatically. After 7 minutes, I was already in front of the court gate and parked the bike against a tree (parking places for a common bike). I manually pushed the button on the wheel. The app got noticed and charged me  0.5 CNY (about 7 cents euro) automatically. The trip ended! The experience to me was really exciting. 

The bike is designed so considerate that it doesn’t ask for too much maintenance. With untraditional wheel and mechanical design, the bike doesn’t suffer from the usual chain problem. The bike itself has positioning system which is powered by users’ ride. 

One more observation, once I counted one minute at a crossroad, nine out of ten bicyclers were riding the Mobike or ofo. (ofo is another brand of shared bike but with less user experience) 

To me, a common user, this new generation of shared bike is absolutely a cheap, green, convenient and efficient travel way within short distance. 

If you are interested in how we take taxi in Shanghai, I plan to share with you in a another blog. Please comment below and let me know what you wanna see. 

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  1. Oh a guest speaker! Cool post and great to see how we’re moving away from owning everything and going more towards pay-per-use. Way more efficient use of bikes, and the owner can invest more in better bikes, resulting in higher quality and hopefully longer life span.

    I hope something similar will happen with cars, where one day we might set the route on our phone, jump into an autonomous car that arrives in front of the door, that brings us next to the metro entrance. This brings us almost home, where we hop on the bike for the last part!

    1. Hey toon!
      Thanks for commenting:)
      I think the scenario would be ideal combined with self-driving car!
      I am looking forward to the future 🙂

      Qiao, share your thoughts too !

      1. Shared car is really the future I think. But before it comes into reality, there is still a long way to go in China. First of all, renting car market is not mature yet in China. Shared car is not popular yet. Secondly, even us are reluctant to buy a second hand car due to the lack of confidence in second car market. Thirdly, parking and traffics jam is still a huge problem in China’s big cities. Can you imagine that now the cost car plate which allows us to drive on the central roads during busy time is almost close to a car? That’s 88,000 CNY (about 11,000 euro). Last but not least, automotive market is currently kind of support economy in China market, which taxes a large portion of the society. Shared car must have the support from government. However it’s glad to see that now some internet companies are defining new generation of automotive business, e.g. LeEco. Although there is a long way to go, it’s anyhow a sign of this shared economy.

  2. Hey qiao!

    Thanks for the post! I am amazed how extensively the mobile technology is been used in Shanghai !
    I am definitely interested in the taxi reservation too! Please share 🙂

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