Bluegogo

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Bluegogo
Industry Transportation
Founded November 2016
Founder Gang "Tony" Li (Chinese: 李刚)
Headquarters Tianjin, China
Area served
Shenzen, Guangzhou, Chengdu
Products Bicycle-sharing services
Website Bluegogo.com
Bluegogo
Simplified Chinese 小蓝单车
Traditional Chinese 小藍單車
Literal meaning Little Blue Bike
A Bluegogo bicycle in Beijing, China

Bluegogo (Chinese: 小蓝单车) was a bicycle-sharing system based in Tianjin, China, founded and owned by Tianjin Luding Technology Co., Ltd (Chinese: 天津鹿鼎科技有限公司). It operated in six Chinese cities, and briefly operated in San Francisco, United States in 2017. The station-less bicycle-sharing system used a mobile app to unlock bicycles. The company went bankrupt in November 2017.

History[edit]

Bluegogo was founded in November 2016 by Gang "Tony" Li (Chinese: 李刚), the owner of bicycle manufacturer SpeedX, as part of a boom in private bikeshare companies in China led by Mobike and Ofo.[1] The company began operating in Shenzen and expanded to Guangzhou and Chengdu by January 2017, operating over 70,000 bicycles in total. Bluegogo uses its own bicycle manufacturing plant and raised ¥237 million RMB ($34 million USD) in venture capital.[2] Further expansions in Beijing and Nanjing in early 2017 brought the total number of Chinese cities to six.[3][4][5][citation needed]

In January 2017, Bluegogo announced plans to expand overseas to San Francisco, intending to "disrupt" the bike-sharing industry in the United States.[6] The announcement was met with resistance from local politicians, who objected to the lack of planning and permits for the "dumping of tens of thousands of bicycles" onto city streets.[7] Bluegogo scaled back its rollout plans and sought to cooperate with the city government, which later approved regulations on station-less bicycle-sharing systems to avoid similar problems in the future.[8] After failing to secure commercial permits, Bluegogo suspended its San Francisco operations and took their bicycles off the streets.[9][10]

According to The Seattle Times, Bluegogo has been discussing a launch in Seattle, along with rival private bicycle-sharing companies LimeBike and Spin.[11]

On 16 November 2017, Chinese media sources reported that the company had declared bankruptcy and shuttered operations after burning through 600 million yuan ($119 million USD) in funds.[12] The bankruptcy was called by analysts as the first sign of a bursting of China’s bike-sharing bubble.[13] Green Bike-Transit (Chinese: 拜客出行), a Guangzhou-based company, took over Bluegogo's operations.[14] Many of its users complained on social media that deposits were hard to refund. The Bluegogo app has since been removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Their official website has also gone defunct. As of December 2017, the remaining Bluegogo bicycles on the streets can no longer be unlocked and are left abandoned, attracting vandalism and abuse on those uncollected bikes. [15]

Didi Chuxing signed an agreement with Bluegogo to partly acquire the assets of the company in December 2017, expanding Didi's business into the bike-sharing sector. And a number of Bluegogo's former employees have begun working for Didi.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shijia, Ouyang (24 November 2016). "Bike sharing business pedals 2 billion yuan plan". China Daily. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ Sin, Ben (3 January 2017). "This Chinese bike-sharing firm has put 70,000 bicycles on the streets in just a month". Mashable. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Black Hole Capital Leads $58M Round In Chinese Bike Sharing Firm Bluegogo". China Money Network. 27 February 2017.
  4. ^ "USING NANJING'S FIVE VARIETIES OF PRIVATE SHARED BIKES". The Nanjinger. 25 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Bike-sharing business is flooding Nanjing's streets with bicycles". Jiangsu China. 12 January 2017.
  6. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (17 January 2017). "China firm's plan to put bikes on SF streets met with anger". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  7. ^ Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Joe (17 January 2017). "SF threatens legal action against bikeshare company rumored to launch on city streets". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (23 January 2017). "Bike-sharing startup Bluegogo gets less feisty about plans". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  9. ^ Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Joe (15 March 2017). "SF passes new laws to penalize bike-share companies like Bluegogo". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  10. ^ Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Joe (30 March 2017). "Bluegogo to pull its bikes off SF streets". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  11. ^ Gutman, David (2 June 2017). "Bike-share companies vie for chance to set up shop in Seattle — without stations". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. ^ Needham, Kirsty (16 November 2017). "Share bike bubble claims first big casualty as Bluegogo reportedly goes bankrupt". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ "China's bike-sharing bubble bursts as Bluegogo fails". Financial Times. 17 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Bluegogo CEO announces sale of company, admits to management mistakes in open letter". Technode. 17 November 2017.
  15. ^ Haas, Benjamin (17 November 2017). "Anger as Chinese bike sharing firm shuts up office with riders' deposits". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Didi Chuxing to Take Over Troubled Bike-Sharing Startup". Caixin Global. 3 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Didi Chuxing invests further in China's bike-sharing market". ZDnet. 4 January 2018.

External links[edit]