Mobike China: Synchronizing social and technological innovations towards sustainable urban transportation

30 October 2018 | Dr. Yuge MaDr. Diana MangalagiuJing Lan

This case study Mobike China: Synchronizing social and technological innovations towards sustainable urban transportation shows how technology can be a solution to social, environmental and economic issues. The development of low-carbon transport models and sharing mobility are central to transforming carbon-intensive urban transportation systems and an important step towards achieving overall sustainable urban development. The rise of the sharing economy phenomenon has inspired numerous types of disruptive innovations with the potential to drive climate-smart urban transformation, particularly in the unique context of China. 

Mobike is the world’s first free-floating bike-sharing (FFBS) scheme that began in Shanghai in April 2016 and now operates in more than two hundred cities across the world. The Mobike service operates through an app-based platform that allows users to locate, secure and pay for a nearby bike within fifteen minutes.  At its launch, Mobike aimed to address the negative environmental impacts of the transportation sector by solving the last mile issue and synergistically aligning its green business vision with the Shanghai 2035 Master Plan, which chose green development as the key for the city’s sustainable transport system goals. The central objective of Shanghai 2035 is to achieve more than 85 per cent green transport. The Master Plan identified low-carbon transport systems such as Mobike’s FFBS scheme as promising development areas. To further reduce its carbon footprint and ensure the longevity of the bike’s product life cycle, Mobike designed and manufactured its own bikes with durable and weather-resistant materials. 

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