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论中国自行车的逆袭

  Unlock them with an app, drop them off anywhere, and nip past lanes of stationary car traffic: the humble bicycle is seeing a revival in China as a new generation of start-ups help tackle urban congestion and pollution with fleets of brightly coloured two wheelers.

  用手机应用即可解锁,骑过的车子可以放在任何地方,快速穿过静止不动的车流:新一代初创公司通过推广色彩鲜明的自行车来应对城市拥堵与污染的问题,这种低调的两轮交通工具在中国迎来复兴。

  The bike-share concept has attracted huge venture capital as fledgling firms wrestle for market share. Such has been the success of this made-in-China business model, which is using smart phones to reignite the nation’s passion for cycling, companies are hatching plans to export the idea worldwide.

  其他初创公司仍在为市场份额而苦苦挣扎,分享单车的概念却吸引了大量风险投资。这是中国制造商业模式所取得的成功,智能手机应用重新点燃了国民骑自行车出行的热情,各家公司努力制定计划向全世界出口这种理念。

  "We are focused on how to make the small bicycle have a big impact," said Davis Wang, CEO of Mobike, which launched last April in Shanghai and already has several hundred thousand of its silver-and-orange "smart" bikes in 13 Chinese cities.

  摩拜的首席执行官王晓峰表示:“我们关注的是如何让小小的自行车发挥出巨大的影响力”。摩拜于去年四月正式在上海上线,在中国的13座城市已经拥有了几十万辆银橘色相间的“智能”自行车。

  Key rivals Mobike, Ofo and others are tapping into the sharing economy ethic behind Airbnb and ride-hailing apps such as Uber, and targeting China’s 700 million mobile phone users, who increasingly use their smartphone for transactions.

  摩拜和其主要竞争对手Ofo等数家公司追随空中食宿和优步的脚步,迈入分享经济大潮,瞄准中国7亿手机用户,通过智能手机进行的交易日渐增长。

  Customers use the firm’s app to release a bike’s lock for rides costing as little as 1 yuan (15 cents) an hour. Bikes can be left anywhere for the next user.

  该应用用户只需支付一元钱就能解锁并使用自行车,上一位用户可以将车放在任意位置供下一位用户使用。

  Mobike’s app also shows where idle bikes are, while both companies capture rider data they say can help in traffic planning.

  摩拜的应用还可以显示自行车的理想位置,两家公司对骑行者的数据进行了捕捉,表示这些数据有助于交通规划。

  "If we can persuade hundreds of thousands of people in every city to start to re-use bikes every day, then we can create a social impact for every city," Wang told AFP.

  王晓峰告诉法新社“如果我们每天在每座城市都能让几十万人重新使用自行车,便足以创造巨大的社会效应”。

  - Last-mile problem -

  最后一英里的难题

  Once emblematic of China’s masses, bikes lost ground as economic growth and urban sprawl fuelled consumer demand for cars -- the nation is now the world’s largest automobile market.

  自行车曾一度是中国混乱的象征。随着经济发展,城市的扩张导致消费者对汽车的需求激增,自行车逐渐失去了原有的地位。如今中国已经成为世界第一大汽车市场。

  Cities gridlocked by traffic and deteriorating air quality have prompted both government and consumers to search for greener solutions.

  中国的城市充斥着交通拥堵,空气质量恶化的现象,政府与消费者正在寻求更加环保的解决方案。

  Industry evangelists say the new approach to bike sharing can help change that by solving the "first-mile/last-mile" problem that has long plagued urban planners: how to move commuters between their homes and public transit.

  行业的布道者表示自行车分享的新途径能够通过解决困扰城市规划者们多年的“首个一英里/最后一英里”的难题来改变这种现状:如何让通勤人员在家庭和公共设施之间顺畅移动。

  The inconvenience of travelling to a bus stop or metro station can be enough of a psychological barrier to push commuters toward taxis or car ownership.

  乘公交车与地铁的不便成为了许多通勤人员的心理障碍,推动他们乘坐出租车或者驾驶私家车出行。

  "In places where the subway does not extend, where it’s difficult to change from one kind of transport to another, it’s so easy to get where you want to go with Mobike," said Hu Hong, 29, who pedals to her Shanghai real-estate job.

  29岁的胡红(音译)平时骑自行车去房地产公司上班,她表示:“有的地方没有地铁,有的地方很难换乘其他交通工具,有了摩拜很容易就能去自己想去的地方”。

  Some Chinese cities started municipal bike-rental schemes years ago that allow users to pick up and drop off their wheels at designated stations, similar to hundreds of programmes around the world.

  租赁自行车的业务于几年前在中国的一些城市开始发展起来,用户可在指定地点骑车或者放车,全世界还有数百个类似的项目。

  Today’s start-ups have removed that shackle, and the convenience of being able to drop off anywhere means a new generation of riders are now ubiquitous in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

  今天的创业公司摆脱了这种束缚,随意放置自行车的便利意味着新一代自行车用户在上海和北京这样的城市也将变得随处可见。

  Ofo, which launched in 2015 as a Peking University student project, claims 10 million users for its one million bright-yellow bikes in 33 cities. It plans to add 10-15 million bikes this year, chief operating officer Zhang Yanqi told AFP

  Ofo最初作为北京大学的学生项目于2015年正式上线,在33座城市投放了100万辆自行车,收获了1亿用户。Ofo首席运营官张严琪向法新社透露,公司计划今年增加1000万到1500万自行车。

  Mobike shares a time-lapse graphic that, using its GPS system, tracks customer rides over a recent day in Shanghai.

  摩拜分享了一份延时图,这份延时图运用了摩拜的全球定位系统,记录了上海用户最近一天的骑行情况。

  Eager to cash in, Chinese and foreign investors have handed Mobike and Ofo hundreds of millions of dollars.

  中外投资者都渴望向摩拜和Ofo投入大量现金,目前两家公司已接受了上亿美元的投资。

  The ramp-up recalls the battle between China ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing and Uber, into which both poured billions of dollars before joining forces last year with Didi in command.

  这场投资狂潮不禁让人想起当年中国叫车软件的领军者滴滴出行与优步的争夺战。当初两大公司都投入了数十亿美元,此后两家公司完成合并,滴滴占据主导地位。

  Didi is among Ofo’s biggest investors, while Mobike CEO Wang is a former Uber exec.

  滴滴是Ofo最大的投资商之一,而摩拜的CEO王晓峰则是优步的前高管。

  Mobike’s investors include Chinese Internet giant Tencent and Taiwan tech-manufacturing powerhouse Foxconn, a major Apple supplier.

  摩拜的投资者包括中国互联网巨头腾讯以及苹果公司主供应商富士康公司。

  - Burning cash -

  烧钱

  Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investing at Peking University, said "economic reality is being suspended" as rivals burn cash to grab turf.

  北京大学的投资学教授杰弗里·托森认为,两大对手为夺得市场份额而疯狂烧钱,“经济现实正在推迟”。

  "I think they’re going to pull it off. A lot of businesses start this way: you have lightning in a bottle, a hot app, and you build a more sustainable business as you go," he explained.

  他解释道:“我认为他们正在赢得成功,许多公司一开始都是这样:一个具有闪光点的想法,一款热门的手机应用,逐步搭建起更加可持续的商业模式”。

  Weaker entrants will drop out or be absorbed, Towson added.

  托森还认为较弱的入口将遭到放弃或吞并。

  China’s government singled out Mobike and Ofo last month -- praising bike-sharing as a means of cutting emissions and traffic.

  中国政府上个月点名表扬了摩拜和Ofo,称赞共享单车是一种降低污染气体排放,缓解交通压力的出行方式。

  Ofo launched in Singapore in recent weeks, and is now eyeing US and European markets. Mobike plans to enter Singapore within weeks.

  Ofo最近几周已在新加坡上线,现在又将目光对准了美国与欧洲市场。摩拜计划于几周内进入新加坡。

  Analysts said regulatory issues, logistics, and lower use of mobile payments overseas could brake expansion.

  分析人士指出,监管问题﹑物流和海外手机支付的低使用率可能会抑制扩张的速度。

  Lower winter ridership and losses from damage and theft also will weigh on bottom lines, they add, but insist the future appears bright.

  分析人士还认为,冬天骑行率较低,破坏及盗窃造成的损失都将带来沉重的压力。但是分析人士坚定地认为分享单车的前景是光明的。

  Both Mobike and Ofo loftily envision tens of millions of connected bikes worldwide.

  摩拜和Ofo都在畅想未来全世界千万辆自行车互相联通的情景。

  "It has only just begun," said Ofo’s Zhang.

  张严琪表示:“一切刚刚开始”。

  "We hope to fulfil this vision in the next two to three years."

 

  “我们希望在未来两到三年内实现这个设想。”

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