China's Bike-Sharing Disaster

Chinese bike-sharing companies compete by flooding the market, and the consequences are stacking up!

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Picture of woodhatch46 achievements

+2 1. woodhatch commented 221 days ago

You'd have thought they could re-cycle them :'(
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-1 2. RobertTusk commented 221 days ago

China sure is on a steep learning curve.
Trying to achieve in 50 years what the US achieved in 150 years is very ambitious.
Such growth is bound to have hiccups along the way especially if you are trying to create a capital market system that does
not slide into predatory or crony capitalism.
They had plenty of experience of cronyism in the old communist regime.
But the quest to build a sharing economy rather than a wanton consumer society is laudable.
It wants it's citizens to be solvent so they can buy Chinese products and services.
The model where consumers aspire to individual car ownership financed by perpetual auto finance is bad for the citizenry and terrible for the environment.
The evolution of bike sharing in China has taught China a lot of lessons.
These are now being applied to the big project - car sharing and ride hailing - and it's electric.
This is from last month.
http://autonews.gasgoo.com/china_news/70014255.html
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0 3. Kenuty commented 221 days ago

@2
You do know most items, products, clothes, stores of all sorts major brand and business etc are all owned by chinese billionares in the u.s right?
Even the movie theatres you STEP IN today are owned by chinese shareholders.
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+1 4. RobertTusk commented 221 days ago

#3
It's true Kenuty that China is by far the biggest manufacturing economy, with the EU 2nd followed by the US and then Japan.
Walmart billionaires flood the US with Chinese made goods.
Manufacturing has created many, many Chinese millionaires, and they live in China.
China has 338 billionaires most of whom live and operate in China.
The US has 680 billionaires most of whom live and operate in the US.
(Figures from May 2018).
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0 5. snotraddict commented 221 days ago

#2 all systems turn into cronyism unless you limit their power as the US attempted to do by the founding fathers.

Did China learn anything? With that amount of excess bikes it seems to me they could have headed that off at the pass long ago. Doesn't seem like it would take that much abuse by the bike companies to spark someone to say, "we need to fix this, it's getting out of hand." I guess they're as dim witted there as our leaders are here. Out here in the Los Angeles area, people are so sick of ditched scooters laying around everywhere that they take great joy (and video themselves) destroying them. LOL

Car-hailing, I assume that is the same thing as Uber. I've never understood the fawning over ride-sharing as part of the green goal. Whether you drive or Uber, you're still in a car taking up space on the road.
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0 6. Judge-Jake commented 220 days ago

I think the guy that suggested that scheme spoke too soon, they should put the brakes on the whole thing and ask him to retyre. He could then get a seat on a new board and see if he can handle a new venture. Either way he needs to tread carefully or he might get framed and saddled with a long sentence on a chain gang then he'll have to peddle drugs to get by cycle. :D
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0 7. RobertTusk commented 220 days ago

#5.
Yup snotraddict,
China is going to have screw ups along the way some of them big ones.
Bringing 1,420 million people from a mainly agrarian society to a first world one in lifetime is unprecedented in human history.
China can learn from mistakes made in other countries but will also have to learn from it's own mistakes.
That was the subject of the link I put in comment #2

As regards fawning over car sharing.
On average cars are parked 95% of the time.

http://fortune.com/2016/03/13/cars-parked-95-percent-of-time/

For private cars the % is even higher.
On average, in the west, folks spend up to one third of their income on a depreciating asset they use 5% of the time.
That does not make sense.
Take your own town for example - LA.
One third of LA space is occupied by car traffic resources be it highways, parking facilities etc.
Imagine if much of that could be turned over to housing.
China cannot ever offer its people 2 cars per household nor does it need to.
It now has the most advanced and extensive public transport system in the world.
But that is not enough.
It wants to be the first country to develop and deploy TAAS on a vast scale. (Transport As A Service).
When you need a car, an autonomous electric vehicle turns up.
At your destination you step out and walk away and the car goes to service another request.
Electric cars with 18 moving parts (as opposed 2,200 is a combustion engine) are good for 500,000 miles.
In constant use they should last 5 years just by replacing the tires.
You will still be allowed to drive a private internal combustion engine (ICE) car but it will be very very expensive.
At March 2018 monthly sale in Shanghai, around 217,000 bidders battled for ICE 9,855 license plates.
The average winning bid was 88,176 yuan ($14,022).
Plates for Electric cars are free.

https://www.economist.com/china/2018/04/19/why-a-licence-plate-costs-more-than-a-car-in-shanghai

Beijing plates are also expensive but in addition, odd and even ICE license plates are only allowed on the roads on alternate days.
TAAS is the biggest revolution heading our way.
The best person to explain why TAAS will completely change the world as we know and how it will happen is Tony Seba of Stanford University.
Here he is speaking in Boulder last year.

https://vimeo.com/283745451
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-1 8. thefox commented 220 days ago

#7 "On average, in the west, folks spend up to one third of their income on a depreciating asset they use 5% of the time. That does not make sense."

It doesn't make sense purely from a financial perspective. But the majority of people don't look on car ownership as an investment. For them, and for me, car ownership is about freedom, and not having to hang around waiting for a taxi or a bus or a train. I just jump into my machinery, turn the key, and go. :)

And as for: "When you need a car, an autonomous electric vehicle turns up...."

I hate to break it to you, but autonomous vehicles are still very much in the development stage. They won't be coming to a street near you for at least another 10 to 20 years.
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-1 9. RobertTusk commented 220 days ago

#8
Thefox, it seems you didn't watch the Tony Seba video in comment 7.
Anyway we are talking China here,
If you can always have a car within 2 minutes for 1/20th the cost of owning one, it is a no brainer,
China now has 125 cities bigger than San Francisco.
Most folks live in apartment blocks with no car parking space.
You can't consider buying a car if you have no place to park it.
Late 2017 the government granted licenses for several companies to run autonomous cars on the roads of the capital Beijing.
The biggest, Baidu clocked up 87,000 autonomous miles on Beijing's roads in 2018.
The biggest ride hail company Didi (far bigger than Uber) is also running autonomous cars and the plan is ride hailing without drivers.
European cities are also pushing ride hailing.
If you want to drive your own diesel car into London it will cost you £24 per day. (that's $31.50).
A gas car is about $15 per day.

The island of Hainan (China's Hawaii) will be the first to go all electric and autonomous in earnest will start there.
As for the US.
Half of American families have less than $1,000 in savings.
Being unable to afford to repair a broken car can mean losing a job.
Access to personal transport without fuel, insurance, maintenance, plates depreciation and auto finance debt costs is very attractive.
Heck you don't even need a driving license.
The market will drive this change.
It will be slower in the US because of the lack of 5G coverage but it can still be done on 4G.
I urge you to watch Tony's video to see how this will pan out in the US.

https://vimeo.com/283745451
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0 10. snotraddict commented 214 days ago

#9 that video, an hour plus. I'll have to add that to my list to view. Saw the first 10 minutes, looks interesting.

I have to agree with Fox that it's not an investment, it's a need and desire given the massive flexibility. The great thing about a personal car is when you don't need it, it's sitting in the driveway turned off, unlike a bus with 2 people on board or half empty trains. They're still buzzing around using resources.

The ridehail would appear to be a good idea, just not sure I can wrap my brain around how it might work. It seems like if a lot of people ditched their cars and hailed other cars, the traffic wouldn't get any better considering when I drive to work and park, the roads are free from my car. You did mention you'd like to see the roads, freeways and parking lots filled with homes but think ride hailing will solve the problem, yet where would they drive or park (if I understood you correctly)?

And you'd need a lot of ride hailing cars especially if you want to serve your customer within 2 minutes during rush hours. You'll need those bastard parking lots or parking structures and roads to take people to their destinations. It might work, I just can't visualize it and the math doesn't seem to work from a conceptual standpoint.

Lastly, if you make a ton of electric cars, you have to build a lot of electric plants and I think China is not as Green as we'd like to see.

There's plans on paper and snake oil salesmen to sell the ideas (turns out the bikes weren't such a hot idea). On the other hand there's reality. It'll be interesting.
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0 11. RobertTusk commented 213 days ago

#9 snotraddict , I urge for the third time to watch Tony Seba's video before replying - if only as a courtesy to the readers here.

https://vimeo.com/283745451