Xiaomi-backed baicycle to roll out in S'pore by end 2017

Xiaomi-backed baicycle to roll out in S'pore by end 2017
PHOTO: Medium

I just wrote about the launch of GBikes a few weeks ago, and now another dockless bike-sharing service is slated to make its debut in Singapore by the end of this year.

Backed by Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi, Baicycle will be the sixth operator here, following ofo, Mobike, oBike, SG Bike and GBikes.

Similar to other shared bikes, users can locate, rent and unlock their Baicycles via a GPS-enabled smartphone app that helps riders navigate the city and locate nearby landmarks.

Its name is a play on the bicycle's white colour, which means "bai" in Chinese.

Baicycle’s classic and retro e-bicycle.
Photo: Baicycle

Baicycle is currently available in China and Japan, and will be brought to Singapore by Xiaobai Technology, a local firm founded by Terence Tan, who also runs Eco Biz International, a decade-old Singapore firm specialising in mobility devices.

STANDING OUT FROM THE STIFF COMPETITION

But will this launch prove to be a good move?

After all, the bike-sharing market is already saturated enough as it is with at least 30,000 shared bicycles already in the market, so it might prove to be a challenge to gain a market share here.

But Tan insisted that his business model is different from its competitors as Baicycle will offer shared electric bicycles and e-scooters, on top of regular bikes.

"Because of the hot weather and ageing population, we want more products to serve customers," he told The Straits Times.

Baicycle’s foldable e-scooter.Photo: Baicycle

He added that he will roll out 2,000 traditional bicycles at launch.

Next year, he targets to have a combined fleet of 10,000 e-bikes and e-scooters made available to riders - this number is subject to user demand.

It is however not yet known how much the rental fees will cost, or how the e-bikes and e-scooters will be charged in between rentals.

NO MORE INDISCRIMINATE PARKING WITH GEO-FENCING

The firm currently already has 200 regular bicycles in Singapore, which it is using to test out its geo-fencing technology.

This technology creates a virtual boundary that sends out an alert when a bike enters or leaves an area, and is meant to prevent indiscriminate parking.

It was announced last week that the five other bike-sharing firms have signed an agreement with the authorities to use similar technology by the end of this year.

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