The Golden Days of Bike Sharing: CoolQi and Haier Introduce China’s Coolest Bike Yet

In China’s super competitive bike-sharing market, newcomer CoolQi offers a special something for its customers in cooperation with Haier. With a dazzling gold color, cool design, and mobile-charging cables, CoolQi targets young and trendy bike sharing users who appreciate their share of bling bling.

Another newcomer has been added to the long list of China’s bike-sharing companies. In cooperation with Chinese electronics company Haier, company CoolQi (酷骑) did not just launch a bike that is cheap and convenient; it introduced one that is shiny and cool.

Recently, Chinese netizens started paying attention to the new kid on the block in China’s world of bike sharing. The golden CoolQi bikes have blue tyres and seats, a mobile phone holder, and cables attached to the front to charge your mobile phone (Android, iPhone). There is also the option to wirelessly charge your battery.

The option to charge one’s smartphone with this bike will be popular among China’s bike-sharing users, because they often use the navigation on their phone while cycling.

Baby you can ride my bike.

Like other bike companies such as Ofo or Mobike, CoolQi also works with an app and QR code system, but is somewhat more expensive than its competitors (deposit 298 yuan [43$], half an hour ride 1,5 yuan [0.22$]).

Besides the charging station, it also offers other high-tech functions; the seat can be automatically adjusted to height (people have to register their height within the app) and it has a voice assistant that can tell you the weather forecast and other things.

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah!

The bikes have made their debut in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi’an.

On Weibo the new bikes have led to many jokes, with many saying “it couldn’t possibly be any uglier.” It is called the ‘nouveau riche’ bike.

Some are also worried about what will happen to the mobile-charging station when it gets wet. “There should be matching umbrellas with this bike,” some people suggest. Many commenters also say it won’t be long before the charging station and other parts of the bike will be vandalized and broken.

There are also other worries in relation to the bike’s mobile phone holders and chargers: “Playing on your phone and recharging it while riding your bike, I can only pray to heaven that there won’t be any accidents!”

“I saw these bikes today,” one person writes: “But they are so shiny, I just didn’t have the courage to ride them.”

By Manya Koetse

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Author

About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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