There have been a few bike-sharing firms in Singapore so far: ofo, MoBike, oBike, SG Bike and GBikes.
And it looks like there’s a new one joining the ranks soon: Baicycle.
Apart from providing white bikes (you know, 白cycle), Baicycle has a pretty special something too.
It has a backer, and it’s none other than Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi.
So what should you know about the latest bike-sharing firm, apart from the fact that its got a real powerful company as its backer?
Debut by the end of the year
The bike-sharing firm, which is available in China and Japan, will be brought to Singapore by Xiaobai Technology, a local company started by Mr Terence Tan. He also runs Eco Biz International, a decade-old Singapore firm that specializes in mobility devices.
With so many shared bicycles already in Singapore, wouldn’t it be a tough market to enter?
Mr Tan disagrees.
According to him, Baicycle’s business model differs in the sense that it offers shared electric bicycles and e-scooters, on top of regular bikes.
“Because of the hot weather and ageing population, we want more products to serve customers,” he told the Straits Times.
I must say that Baicycle has gotten off to a good start, at least in terms of creativity.
Baicycle sounds exactly like bicycle when pronounced, but what non-chinese speakers might not know is that ‘Bai’ stands for white in english.
Seeing how their bikes are white, I must confess: its a creative pun on the name’s end.
Launch of 2,000 conventional bicycles
Mr Tan added that when service launches, the bike-sharing firm will introduce 2,000 conventional bicycles. By next year, he expects to have a combined 10,000 e-bikes and e-scooters available to riders.
Lofty goals, Mr Tan. Let’s hope that user demand can match the generous supply.
The firm has already rolled out 200 bicycles as part of a test for its geo-fencing technology. This cool bit “creates a virtual boundary that sends out an alert when a bike enters or leaves an area and is meant to end indiscriminate parking.”
If you’re wondering, “I think I will just stick to my oBike if it means I can’t park my bicycle upside down anymore…”, I have some bad news for you, buster.
The five other bike-sharing firms have agreed to utilize the same technology by the end of this year.
So no more nonsensical parking.
In addition, according to Chinese business technology website TMTpost, Baicycle co-founder He Xiangming was quoted as saying that the service will “work with quick-charging points and battery replacement centres set up at convenience stores.”
Is bike-sharing sustainable, though?
National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng raised the question, “Is the bike-sharing market really sustainable?”
He said that “bike-sharing aims to tackle the first-and last-mile commute but this is not a major issue in Singapore because of public transport and covered walkways in Housing Board towns, which 80 per cent of the population reside in.”
When inquired about Baicycle, he said: “It sounds very attractive but whether this can translate into a positive user experience, we will need to observe.”
I can’t agree with you more, Mr Lee.
On another note, this means that we have a lot more bikes in town.
And a lot more bikers hogging the pathways.
Which means many bikes lying on the ground like they’ve just had a hangover.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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