ZHUHAI, China, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunny skies and a pleasant warmth are the hallmark of a typical February day in Zhuhai, a medium-sized city in southern China. Most of the city's denizens are sporting a light layer of clothing, while their counterparts "up North" remain bundled up against winter's lingering chill. It was on just such warm day that a batch of red bicycles appeared on streets across the city. The bikes appeared without the usual fanfare when a news scheme is rolled out: no leaflets handed out at street corners, announcements on the city's many billboards or widespread promotional campaign of any kind. The bicycles' sole identifying marker were the letters "getb" neatly etched in white over the red exterior.
Recently, getb held a press conference in Zhuhai, announcing that Zhuhai and Beijing will be among the first cities selected for a beta test of the shared bike scheme. At the event, getb CEO Zhou Min announced that Zhuhai CTC Electronic had been formally selected as the strategic partner of the scheme responsible for implementation, management and supply chain support at the local level. Zhou said getb has been positioned as the world's first versatile, intelligent, dockless shared bike brand, created by a Sino-British entrepreneurial team located in Beijing and London. The China headquarters of the brand is located in Beijing, responsible for operations in the greater China region.
In its offices in Beijing and London, getb spent nearly one and a half years in developing the shared bike scheme. In Zhuhai, more than 200 bikes were launched in a trial operation, and were used more than 3,000 times. The app needed for booking the bikes has been used more than 10,000 times. getb plans to add 5,000 more bikes to the fleet during the next stage of the roll out. "With the strong solution and supply chain support from Zhuhai CTC Electronic, the getb shared bike scheme will be rolled out simultaneously in Beijing, London and Zhuhai," Zhou added by way of explanation. "The plan is for the brand to expand at a rate of entering a new city every 30 days, and to be installed in 12 cities by the end of this year. On March 15, the scheme will be launched in Shenzhen."
At the press conference, Zhou gave a presentation of the unique features of getb bikes, features that he expects will allow getb to overtake the competition in the future:
- A superior riding experience. The getb bike weighs 18kg, 5kg lighter than the Mobike. The tyre, which consists of a rubber outer tyre and a PU inner tyre, helps enhance the feeling of weightlessness and reduce any sensation of bumpiness from potholes and uneven pavement. In addition, both the frame and wheel hub utilize high-strength, lightweight aluminium alloy materials. Notably, with the aim of improving the quality of the ride, the bike comes equipped with a height-adjustable seat for riders of different heights, while the hollow silica gel saddle, designed to be highly breathable, keeps the rider's posterior cool and sweat-free.
- Enhanced safety performance. The getb combines the drum brake with a roller brake, delivering a fast braking response coupled with a low failure rate, vastly enhancing overall performance and safety when needing to come to a quick or sudden stop. During the event, Zhou shared the results of the stopping distance test for shared bikes available in the market: Mobike -- 3.8 meters, Bluegogo -- 1.8 meters, and ofo -- 3.2 meters.
- Fast unlocking. By leveraging Zhuhai CTC Electronic's central control technology and more advanced algorithm, the getb allows for rapid unlocking, within three seconds in most cases.
The relatively affordable pricing of the getb service is GBP 1 (approx. US$1.24) per hour with a required deposit of GBP 99 (approx. US$123.03) .
Zhou further commented, "Many Chinese opt for bicycles, not only as a preferred method for getting from point A to point B, but also to do their bit for the environment as well as to keep in shape. We hope the new model can serve as a Last Mile solution."
getb's UK team, Getbike Sharing System Ltd., had earlier announced the launch of a beta test across the Greater London region, scheduled from February 25 to April 25, with 3,000 bikes on offer initially and increasing to 50,000 during the subsequent five months. In January, without providing further details concerning the investors, the team announced an injection of US$10 million in A-round financing. The valuation of the company is now estimated at US$200 million.