Mobike upgrades in Shenzhen

After clocking up 280 million hours of ridership in the city of Shenzhen, Mobike has decided to relaunch its local fleet with 80,000 new yellow-colored bicycles.

The bicycle-sharing company that seems to have emerged triumphant from the industry’s recent consolidation wars began replacement work on October 16. It is the third time Mobike, which is was acquired by the tech conglomerate Meituan, has done a full replacement since it entered Shenzhen three years ago. Cai Junlian, area manager of Meituan Bike, said the company will ship all of its old bikes out of Shenzhen.

This is Mobike’s fifth upgrade, and its new models are a big improvement in terms of comfort, durability, and safety (better braking). Moreover, now riders can use the Meituan app, which means they do not have to pay a deposit. Users switching over from the original Mobike account will keep their balance and other information.

Mobike has been hugely popular since launching in Shenzhen in October, 2016. This is a young and energetic city, with most users aged 20 to 40. They have travelled 2.8 billion km on these bikes, which has been good for the environment: Mobike data estimates the equivalent of 67,200 tons of vehicle emissions have been saved, which would be the same as planting 61 hectares of forest. A single Mobike has been unlocked at most 47 times within a day, on average.

The city’s favorite riding areas are in Longhua, Nanshan and Futian. During holidays, hot spots include Baoan avenue, Lao Jie and other scenic spots and business circles.

Morning “rush hour” on bikes is 7am to 9am. But late evenings are becoming popular, especially from midnight to 6 am, when most public transport is closed. Late-night workers find it a convenient, reliable and safe means of transport home.

The change to yellow bikes is being welcomed by riders, apparently. It is being seen as a magnanimous move, as Meituan was the “winner” of the bike wars, after buying out the “yellow enemy”, Ofo. It seems that Meituan management realised yellow was the preferred color for riders.

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