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The bike rental boom is dead. Long live bike rental · TechNode


Despite what you may have heard, bike rental is not dead.

The great Chinese bike sharing bubble popped a long time ago. Like a horde of syphilitic conquistadors, some 80 startups (including two unicorns) charged into the jungle in search of a city of bike-share gold, challenging the dominance of the car and bringing mobs of bikes back to China’s major cities. Few ever emerged, and those that did are mostly known by new names.

But under the wing of deep-pocketed giants, share biking is very much alive. It’s not the Wild West any more—the sidewalk-blocking piles of bikes are rare, prices are a little higher, and there’s rules about parking—but in a major city there’s almost always a bike available. Could this be—wonders—a sustainable industry?

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Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.



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Written by Aakash Malu

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