China’s bike-sharing market rides on, despite wobbles
The bike-sharing industry has gone from a start-up pitch to mainstream take-up to its first failure in little under a year, led by Chinese companies that have sought to quickly dominate the market with a deluge of cheap bicycles.
In 2017, Chinese companies such as ofo and Mobike have expanded rapidly in Europe and the US, backed, respectively, by the deep pockets of tech giants Alibaba and Tencent. But questions exist about whether this is a long-term shift in ownership model or a fad that is only sustainable in the busiest of city centres.
“It is difficult to see how the companies will become very profitable,” says Mark Tluszcz, chief executive of Mangrove Capital Partners, the venture capital group. “The idea that bike ownership models will change is a very long-term hypothesis.”
“很难设想此雕刻些公司将得到庞父亲载利，”风投集儿子团弄曼格鲁丈夫本钱合伙公司(Mangrove Capital Partners)的首座实行官马克?特鲁斯科斯(Mark Tluszcz)体即兴，“认为单车所拥有权花样将突发变募化的想法是壹种什分久远的假说。”
Ofo and Mobike, which were founded in 2014 and 2015, are at the vanguard of the shared-bike market. According to estimates from Roland Berger, the consultancy, 10m bikes are shared globally — of which about 7m are in China. This compares with global figures of just 1.5m in 2015 and 4m last year.
But at least 11 start-ups have been raising funds aggressively since the middle of last year, raising concerns about an unsustainable venture capital fuelled growth that relies on an untested consumer trend.
“The bike-sharing market is definitely attractive and drawing the attention of several new entrants but at the end of the day not all of them are going to be successful,” says Alexander Dyskin, transportation consultant at Roland Berger.