Ask any American or European who’ve spent time in China and Hong Kong for their impression on the two regions, and they’ll likely use adjectives along the lines of “fast-paced” and “hectic” (along with “overcrowded”.) There’s no denying this — Chinese people work fast. Back in early December I visited the office of new startup named Bluegogo, which had just introduced its line of dockless smartbikes onto the streets of Shenzhen a few days prior (more information on how these bikes work can be found in my other piece here, but the TL;DR version is they are station-less bikes that can be rented and left behind anywhere within the city). At the time of our meeting, the company had released about 5,000 bicycles on the streets. Within a month, that number grew to 70,000 (it helps when you have your own bike-building factory). Bluegogo’s reps also told me during our meeting that they were considering launching in San Francisco, which was something I took with a grain of salt at the time … except the company actually accomplished this a month later — albeit to initial backlash from city officials. And now, not even four full months since its first batch of bikes, Bluegogo has already updated its line with two new models — the first of which are already on streets now.
Like I said, the Chinese work fast.
The first new model, dubbed the Bluegogo Pro, has a larger 26-inch wheel to the original 24-inchers, making for an easier ride. It’s already out on city streets. The new model, “Pro 2,” has what the company calls a “concept design” that uses a special recyclable, decomposable material for the bike’s frame. It’s also, according to Bluegogo chief operating officer Ye Sun, 33% lighter yet seven times stronger than the aluminum frame of previous models.
“We’d like to think of ourselves as a lifestyle company that promotes bicycle riding culture,” Ye says. “So this more-environmental friendly bike that’s also easier to ride was something we wanted to work on since the beginning.”