The Sharing Economy Is Here - But What Does That Mean for You?
If you've visited China before then you'll know that Chinese people love apps.
Conveniently, the Chinese word for "app" is very similar to the English word.
Instead of saying the word "app", the Chinese word is simply the English spelling: "a-p-p".
With that, there are many bike-sharing apps out there. Thankfully, some of them even have an English-language version.
One of the most popular English-language bike-sharing apps is Mobike.
Mobike, like many of the other bike-sharing apps, uses GPS so users can easily locate near-by bikes.
Once a user has located a bike, they simply walk up to the bike, scan the QR code, and then can begin biking!
Unlike in the United States, shared bikes do not typically have a designated drop-off location. That means once you've arrived at your location (such as the mall or a restaurant) you can park the bike somewhere near the building.
Most trips end up costing 1 RMB ($0.15 USD). So, the service is pretty affordable.
The downside for new users - especially if they're in China for a short period of time - is that the service requires a 200 RMB ($28 USD) deposit before use.
Thankfully, the deposit is refundable so at the end of your trip your full deposit will be refunded.
About the Author: Alexander Parini
Alexander is a recent graduate from Portland State University in the United States where he received his undergraduate degree in political science. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in international relations at Peking University in Beijing, China.