Here’s what you need to know about China’s bike-sharing users

Here’s what you need to know about bike-sharing in China – adults, mainly the working population in major Chinese cities, use shared bikes for trips within two kilometres.

China’s emerging bike-sharing sector has two leaders – ofo and Mobike – far ahead of their competitors in terms of financing and market share.

China’s leading bike-sharing app ofo and the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China’s research arm on Thursday jointly released a report on bike-sharing use in major Chinese cities for Q1 2017. The report is based on ofo’s ridership statistics in the country’s four first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen – and 16 second-tier cities.

It is not necessary to list complicated data on every aspect of bike-sharing use, but here is a summary of the report in three questions:

Who are using bike-sharing apps?

Bike-sharing users are usually existing bike users. Although the report shows some cities with more male riders and other cities with more female users, the ratio is still within an appropriate range. Gender is not a factor that has prominent impact on bike-sharing app use.

Age is an important factor though. Age distribution for users are different for each city. However, for most cities, it is mainly between ages 18 and 45, and it accounts for more than 90 percent in the average age.

How are they using it?

Users ride shared bikes mostly during the day. The data is especially high during rush hours – a sign that riders normally use it to bike for some distance on their way to work and back home.

Number of rides in four first-tier Chinese cities in a day. Source: ofo.
Number of rides in four first-tier Chinese cities in a day. Source: ofo.

Bike-sharing app users normally ride bikes for trips shorter than two kilometres. That makes up 84.6 percent of all trips. Data in different cities show similar figures as well.

Average distance per ride. Source: ofo.
Average distance per ride. Source: ofo.

How bike use differs among cities?

Average rides per bike can differ greatly from city to city, with southern Chinese city of Kunming topping this list, followed by Xiamen, Shanghai, and Beijing. The reason for this is that Kunming has mild and comfortable temperature around the year, and sees average monthly temperature of 8 to about 20 degree celsius. degree centigrades.

average usage times per bike. Source: ofo.
Average usage times per bike. Source: ofo.

These 20 cities also see varied times spent per ride, with southwestern Chinese city Nanning coming in first and Beijing in the last place.

Headquartered in Beijing, the three-year-old startup has seen average daily trip distance of 659 million kilometres in these 20 cities, which is about 164 times of the earth’s circumference. In late March, ofo announced its best performance of more than 10 million daily rides. ofo stressed that it has become the fourth Internet platform in China to see 10 million daily transactions after Taobao, Didi Chuxing, and Meituan.

(Top photo from ofo’s Weibo)

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