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Bike-sharing App Targets Millenials Wanting To Rent Rather Than Buy
Standing out, with their thick alloy frames and hot orange wheels, Mobikes have taken Shanghai by storm (CCSS Level: Grade 8, Words: 385)
Aug 29, 2016 Style & Living
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Launched by Beijing Mobike Technology in spring, a new app-enabled bike rental program allows riders to grab a nearby bike, unlock it with an app and then drop it at any convenient place when they are done.

With a very reasonable price of only 1 yuan for each half-hour of use, along with the ability to leave the bikes in almost any public area, this new startup has been an instant success. For young people in particular, riding these futuristic bikes is both economical and fun.

The company's mobile app allows users to find the bike nearest to where they are, then by scanning a QR code on the bike it can be unlocked and rented. The company asks for a deposit of RMB300 to join the program. Each bike is located using GPS tracking. When the bike is parked and locked, it signals the system to charge an automatic online payment.

Mobike's bicycles use a smart lock that was designed and developed especially for the company, and its app records millions of users' data.

"The Mobike is built on the simple concept of giving every urban dweller the option to make a short journey at an affordable price and with more convenience," the company said of its service. "To that end, we chose bicycles, which make travel more eco-friendly and help reduce the number of cars on the roads."

While largely popular and successful, there are always a few bad apples who spoil it for others. The two biggest problems have been riders hiding the bikes and some people have damaged the QR codes, making the bike unusable. Trying to keep the bike for themselves, some users hide them in bushes, put them inside compounds or even in lockup garages.

The company has brought in a points system to punish users who don't stick with the rules. Starting with a hundred points, rule-breakers lose 20 points for each violation. If a user's points fall below 80, the rental fee goes up sharply.


Mobike has already announced the launch of a similar service in Beijing and just last week the company received USD10 million funding from Panda Capital. In car-congested Shanghai, expect to see increasing numbers of Mobikes around, as more and more people leave the four-wheels behind and take two instead.

Which part of the bike had to be designed especially?
The GPS tracker
The QR code
The bright orange wheels
The smart-lock system
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aid

help


n,v.援助

an-nounce

give information, make something public


v.宣布/公布

an-nounced

told everyone


v.公布

au-to-ma-tic

little or no human control    


v.自动

ban

officially not allow


v.禁止

ca-pi-tal

a city where the government of a country or region sits


n.首都

com-pound

a mixture


n.复合

com-pounds

groups of buildings with a wall or fence


n.复合/合成

con-ges-ted

too full or blocked up


adj.拥挤

con-ve-ni-ent

easy, no trouble    


adj.方便

da-mage

hurt or cause harm


v.损伤

de-po-sit

money stored for future use


n.存款

de-signed

do or plan something for a reason


v.设计/计划

de-ve-loped

cause something to grow or go into production    


v.研发

dwel-ler

one who lives or stays in a certain place


n.居住者

e-co-no-mi-cal

good value for the money or time


adj.经济

fu-tu-ris-tic

very modern technology or design


adj.未来的

in-crea-sing

getting more or bigger


adj.增加

in-stant

happening quickly, right now


adj.瞬间

jour-ney

traveling from one place to another


n.旅程

launched

to send or shoot a rocket into outer space / to get moving


v.发射/推出

lo-ca-ted

find the place where something is


v.位于

on-line

while connected to a computer


adv.线上

pro-blem

something that might be harmful, needing to be solved


n.问题

prob-lems

something not right, harmful


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rea-so-na-ble

fair, not too much    


adj.合理

re-cord

the best or most ever measured    


adj.记录

re-cords

times when someone is the best, or highest


n.记录

rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


adj.粗暴

scan

to look over a large area


v.扫描

sig-nal

send information


v.信号/示意

sig-nals

sends information


v.信号

spe-cial

better or greater than usual


adj.特别

spring

a material that returns to its shape after pressed or stretched


n.弹簧

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suc-cess-ful

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machinery developed from scientific knowledge


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not able to be used


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ur-ban

city area


adj.城市的

vi-o-la-tion

the act of doing something not allowed


n.违反