Tackling China’s carbon-emissions problem, two wheels at a time.
Beijing-based Mobike is the largest among about 30 Chinese startups vying to become China’s dominant, dockless bike sharing platform. The company, backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings (see No. 15) and Taiwan’s Foxconn, has raised over $928 million to fund its vision for sustainable and responsible mobility.
The company encourages city dwellers to ditch their cars and scooters for cheery orange bicycles, which can be rented for less than a dollar per ride by simply scanning a QR code on a free app. The system hasn’t been glitch-free—some cities have reported problems with people throwing the bikes away or leaving them in hazardous places. But Mobike now has over 100 million registered users in 100 cities worldwide, and the World Wildlife Federation estimates that the 2.5 billion kilometers collectively ridden by users since the venture’s April 2016 launch equates to a reduction of 610,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The bike’s sensors, meanwhile, are assembling a vast trove of data about user habits. The company says the data will be used to determine bike distribution plans and help governments build better transport
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