A new player just entered China’s heated and crowded bike-sharing sector, challenging current market leaders Mobike and ofo.
Beijing-based smart bike maker SpeedX last week announced its RMB 150 million (USD 22 million) financing and launched the bike sharing product Bluegogo, the newest player in the field.
Although Bluegogo appears to mimic Mobike in nearly every aspect, it does have some edges to make it stand out from the current market leaders.
An aluminium Bluegogo bike weighs only 15 kilograms, lighter than the Mobikes. Mobike has two categories of bikes: the earlier model of Mobike is 25 kg, and the new one is the 18 kg Mobike Lite. However, Mobikes are dominated by the heavier ones.
Bluegogo’s tyres are innovative as well. They are neither like common bikes that use hollow rubber tyres, nor like most sharing bikes that have solid tyres. Bluegogo adds solid PU polymer tyres inside hollow rubber exterior tyres, achieving a balance of weight, and reducing the choppy feeling when riding the bike.
The startup plans to expand by entering a new city every two weeks, first from the southern Chinese city Shenzhen, where the temperature is friendly to bike riders, even in winter. As north China enters winter and sees snow in most cities, it’s predictable that bike sharing users may drop over the upcoming months.
Bluegogo bikes’ advantages will not necessarily ensure its success in the bike sharing race, where it is important to reach more users. In other words, if a bike sharing player intends to retain its users, it needs to make sure that when its users need a bike, it can provide one.
Maybe Chinese cities will be awash with different colors of sharing bikes, orange Mobikes, yellow ofo, and Bluegogo. The market has become not just crowded, but colorful.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)