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CW.056.VIKING BOER – CHINA WATCH – Exploring Bicycle Graveyard


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    CW.056.VIKING BOER – CHINA WATCH – Exploring Bicycle Graveyard

    No Place To Place——The Wonders of Shared Bicycle Graveyards in China

    Dec 15, 2020
    Bicycle sharing, known as one of China’s “New Four Major Inventions” originated during a period of mass entrepreneurship and innovation. In May 2015, the first dockless shared bicycles were introduced on the campus of Peking University. The concept behind bicycle sharing, “Green Travel” and solving the “Last Mile” problem was widely welcomed. In just over two years, more than 70 shared bicycle companies had sprung up. Around 27 million shared bicycles had been deployed to major cities with distinct colors to differentiate the brands. Soon, shared bicycles began to overwhelm public spaces in cities.

    Originally the government was laissez-faire about the cluttered streets and even encouraged bicycle sharing. They did not realize the seriousness of the issue until September 2017 when the government started to limit the number of bicycles deployed and place excess bicycles in temporary locations. Such hidden locations are hard to be found in cities and have earned the name “shared bicycle graveyard”. Many shared bicycle companies have therefore closed down, leaving only a few companies still operating. Billions of Chinese Yuan of user deposits cannot be refunded, and shared bicycles costing tens of billions of Yuan are abandoned and become urban garbage.

    Since January 2018, the photographer has traveled throughout the country to multiple cities that have been occupied by shared bicycles. He has visited more than 50 shared bicycle cemeteries, using aerial photography, local shooting, VR, video, audio, and other multi-media methods to record this social wonder.

    On the morning of July 26, 2018, Sohu.com launched these photos and videos, which immediately triggered the crazy forwarding of Chinese and foreign media. The number of hits on the Internet was hundreds of millions of people. Thousands of citizens posted comments on the Internet and it became a phenomenon level of propagation events.

    In a mess after the storm, people start to think about various deep-seated problems in the development model driven by China’s current capital interests.

    It is not just the shared bicycles having no place to go, but also our obsession, our dreams of wealth, and the hearts of each of us in the context of the times.

    Drone footage shows thousands of bicycles abandoned in China as bike sharing reaches saturation

    Bike sharing in China may have hit peak supply, as thousands of abandoned shared bikes piled up in Shanghai. The government has removed bikes from the streets and stored them in “bicycle graveyards”. French-born photographer Mathias Guillin filmed one of the sites with his drone.
    China’s Bike-Sharing Disaster

    Chinese bike-sharing companies compete by flooding the market, and the consequences are stacking up!
    The problem of China’s huge bike graveyards

    Exploring Bicycle Graveyard

    This location was a total surprise. I was not even planning to go there. It just happened. I mean it. I discovered it randomly. Those kinds of surprises are the best! And the horse! Wow.

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