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Bike-sharing companies face challenges to get into profit


03-17-2017 08:17 BJT

 (Source: CGTN)

The new bike-sharing phenomenon is a life-line for all those frustrated city workers who have had enough of their daily commutes. With so many bike sharing services to choose from, more and more of them are leaving their cars behind, ignoring public transport and jumping on the saddle instead. But with their heavier wallets and extra convenience, there must be some people losing out?

Bike-sharing company, Ofo announced its largest ever injection of capital last week. It received 450 million dollars from a trio of private investors and, in the process, became the first bike-sharing company to be worth more than a billion dollars.

Ofo has more than 20 million users in nearly 40 cities in China, Singapore and the UK.

Other bike-sharing services, just like Ofo, are now being rolled out across China's major cities.

You find a vacant bike. Scan its QR code. Then the bike is yours.

It's very convenient, and cheap. You can park the bike almost anywhere.

For those who come back from work, there will still be a distance between the subway station and home, so using this convenient service will be very helpful.

However the bike-sharing boom hasn't been well received by everyone. He Changlun, a bike store owner, has run a very successful business for the past five years. But this new bike-sharing service has really caught him off-guard.

"I haven't been able to sell my traditional bikes since this bike-sharing service began. We have only sold a few bikes since the start of the year. We might have to think of moving our business to other cities," He said.

Other problems have also arisen, such as when users park their bikes haphazardly, tarnishing the city's image and impeding pedestrians.

Some have actually abandoned their bikes in rivers, while vandalism is also a dominant issue.

Authorities may have also been caught off-guard by the craze, but are now needed to implement regulations that can stabilise the industry, so we can all get the most from the service, while moving into a future that's cleaner and much less crowded.

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