Shared bikes painted in gaudy, glittering gold have been spotted on the streets of China. Really, it was only a matter of time.
Over the last year or so, the bike sharing industry in China has been exploding in popularity, crowding sidewalks and parks across the country with bicycles of orange, yellow and blue. And yet no one thought about branding to the tuhao crowd, until now.
The golden bikes are owned by a startup called Cool Qi Bike (酷骑单车), with help from Chinese electronics giant Haier, and have already been introduced in five cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Xi’an.
As you might expect, these blinged-out bikes cost a bit more than your run-of-the-mill variety, setting you back 1.5 yuan per 30 minutes, following a 298 yuan deposit.
But you are paying for more than just the paint job. Each of the bikes also comes equipped with an onboard phone charger courtesy of Haier which works for both Apple and Android.
However, it’s not clear if any amount of fancy doodads will get people to actually ride these tacky things. The bikes have been summarily ridiculed online with netizens calling them not only ugly, but a danger to public safety, worrying about their capacity to blind other motorists through sheer bling.
The color itself is called “tuhao gold,” a shot at China’s nouveau riche, infamous for their fondness for extremely extravagant vehicles and accessories. Unfortunately for Cool Qi Bike, tuhaos typically rely less on bicycle sharing apps to travel around, and more on their personal helicopters.
[Images via Sina]
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