Shared bikes are huge in China and thanks to the booming economy, so are tuhao, AKA local tycoon. Therefore, it is about darn time that someone give shared bikes some opulent treatment worthy of tuhao who are, well, still fond of shared bikes. Ok. Maybe that does not make any sense, but hey, you never know, right? True enough, a startup called Cool Qi Bike, aided by Chinese electronics juggernaut Haier, has rolled out shared bikes coated in shiny gold paint job, aptly referred to as “tuhao gold.” These luxurious-looking shared bikes are reportedly available in five cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Xi’an, for obvious reasons.
And guess what? They have more depth to it than mere aesthetic affluence; each bike comes with an onboard phone charger provided by, you guessed it, Haier which can be used to charge your Apple or Android device. Unfortunately, onboard computer with virtual concierge is in the order, but we will not dismiss the possibility in near future. Then again, will gold bicycles catch up with tuhao who normally travel in chauffeured luxurious limousines and/or helicopters?
I don’t know. Probably no, I guess? Because if those pictures that have been circulating online are any indication, folks are more curious about this blinged shared bikes than to give them a go and it is probably for good reason. Each ride will run tuhao and tuhao-wannabe at 1.5 RMB (22 cents) for every 30 minutes. Clearly, a deposit will be required before one could enjoy an exquisite ride like the tuhao gold shared bike and in this instance, we are talking about 298 RMB (about US$43).
Granted 22 cents and 43 bucks are not huge sum, but they are a big deal in bike sharing market, considering the people who uses them. That said, we are really skeptical if golden shared bikes are actually ‘targeting the market’. Perhaps, tuhao beginners might be interested.
Images and source: Shanghaiist.