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亚洲共享单车折戟欧洲市场
Asian bike-sharing companies find road is tougher in Europe

来源:FT中文网    2018-03-05 07:17



        The notice called it “mass destruction”. After a spate of thefts and vandalism decimated its fleet of bicycles, Hong Kong-based start-up GoBee said last week it would pull out of French cities just days after quitting Italy.        公告中的说法是“大规模损毁”。香港初创企业GoBee在其共享单车遭到大规模盗窃和破坏之后,于上月底表示将退出法国各城市,而就在不久前,该公司刚刚宣布退出意大利市场。
        But the company’s business update read like an indictment of Europeans: “In four months, 60 per cent of our fleet was destroyed, stolen or privatised, making the whole European project no longer sustainable.”        但它的公告读起来就像是对欧洲人的控诉:“4个月内,我们的自行车有60%遭到毁坏、盗窃或被据为己有,这让整个欧洲项目无法维系下去。”
        Europe is known as a centre of cycling — home to the Tour de France and the historic birthplace of the bicycle. According to the European Commission, 8 per cent of its population use bikes more than other transport every day and Asia’s largest bike sharing start-ups including Mobike, ofo, oBike and GoBee, have all trained their sights on its cities in search of growth outside their crowded home markets.        欧洲被誉为骑行中心——它每年举办环法自行车赛(Tour de France),也是自行车的历史发源地。欧盟委员会(European Commission)的数据显示,有8%的人口每天使用最多的出行方式是骑自行车,包括摩拜(Mobike)、ofo、oBike和GoBee在内的亚洲大型共享单车初创企业都将目光瞄准了欧洲城市,寻求在濒临饱和的国内市场之外的地方实现增长。
        Flush with venture capital funding — Ofo has raised at least $1bn — the companies have rolled out in cities including London, Paris, Brussels, Manchester, Munich, Zurich and Madrid. But the launches have been plagued with problems: from logistics and regulation to vandalism, theft — and mass destruction.        这些获得了大量风险投资资金(ofo筹集了至少10亿美元)的公司在伦敦、巴黎、布鲁塞尔、曼彻斯特、慕尼黑、苏黎世和马德里等城市推出了共享单车。但这些投放遭遇了从物流、监管到破坏、盗窃以及大规模损毁等问题。
        “Vandalism is one of the main issues operators have,” says Niccolo Panozzo, development officer at the European Cyclists’ Federation. “While all bike-share systems face theft and vandalism, the ease of access to their bikes made it even worse for free-floating services.        欧洲自行车联盟(European Cyclists’ Federation)的业务拓展官尼科洛•帕诺佐(Niccolo Panozzo)表示:“破坏是运营商面临的主要问题之一,尽管所有的共享单车服务都面临着盗窃和破坏行为,但无桩共享服务的自行车容易觅得,使得这种情况更为严重。”
        “There is for sure a cultural component,” he adds. “It is something widespread, yes, but in Europe we have seen a lot of this.”        他补充说:“肯定存在文化因素。没错,这种情况哪儿都有,但是在欧洲,我们看到了很多这样的事情。”
        Hong Kong-based GoBee was one of the first Asian companies to try to crack the French market. Its distinctive green bikes, which could be parked anywhere after use, became a common sight on pavements in Paris.        总部位于香港的GoBee是首批试图打入法国市场的亚洲企业之一。该公司独特的绿色自行车在巴黎人行道上随处可见——用户用完后可停在任何地方。
        However, within a few months of launching, more than 1,000 bikes had been stolen, almost 3,400 damaged across the country and nearly 300 complaints filed with the police. Many of the bikes were simply parked at people’s homes — or “privatised,” in the company’s words.        然而,在投放市场后的几个月内,法国全境就有1000多辆GoBee自行车被盗,近3400辆遭到损毁,警方接到相关报警近300起。许多自行车被人停放在自己家中——或者用该公司的话来说是“被据为己有”。
        Although some suggested the fate of GoBee underlined a problem with civil society in France — and in particular with its marginalised youth in the suburbs — the company has also exited Italy and Belgium this year. “We were ready for some initial vandalism,” the company said after leaving Italy. “But unfortunately, during the past weeks, the vandalism and attacks towards our fleet have reached limits we can no longer overcome.”        虽然一些人认为GoBee的命运突显出法国民间社会——尤其是郊区被边缘化的法国年轻人——的一个问题,但该公司今年还退出了意大利和比利时市场。该公司在退出意大利后表示:“我们对一些最初的破坏行为有心理准备。但遗憾的是,在过去数周里,我们的自行车所遭到的破坏和袭击超出了我们能够承受的限度。”
        The history of bike vandalism is as long as the history of shared bikes. More than 50 years ago, Amsterdam’s Witte Fietsen — or White Bikes service — closed in a matter of days after people either stole the free, unlocked bikes or threw them into canals and rivers. In the decades since, cities and companies have launched restricted versions of this model where riders leave shared bikes in specific places using docking stations.        自共享单车诞生以来,破坏行为就一直不断。50多年前,阿姆斯特丹的白色单车(Witte Fietsen)服务推出没几天就关闭了,因为人们要么偷走这些免费的、未上锁的自行车,要么将它们扔进运河和河流里。在此后的几十年里,许多城市和公司推出了有桩版共享单车服务,用户须将自行车停在特定的停放点。
        Mobike’s biggest vandals are in Manchester, where bikes have often ended up in bins and in the canal, according to two employees with knowledge of the situation.        据两位知情员工透露,破坏摩拜单车最严重的地方是曼彻斯特,自行车在那里常常被扔进垃圾箱和运河里。
        Docked biking schemes have faced problems too. Santander, which sponsors London’s public bike hire service, was forced temporarily to close a number of docking stations in Milton Keynes after more than half its bikes were damaged or stolen.        有桩共享单车服务也面临问题。资助伦敦公共自行车租赁服务的桑坦德银行(Santander)在它一半以上的自行车遭损毁或盗窃后,曾被迫暂时关闭了米尔顿凯恩斯的多个停放点。
        Bike-sharing companies employ armies of workers to monitor their bikes, which Mr Panozzo estimates can account for up to 30 per cent of costs. These stewards carry bikes to places of high demand, make minor repairs and report incidents of vandalism. “In every single city we have an operations team, we have employees and logistics suppliers to move around the bikes,” says Chris Martin, head of international expansion at Mobike.        共享单车公司雇用大量工人来监控他们的自行车,帕诺佐估计这可能占到成本的30%。这些工人们将自行车运送到需求量大的地方,简单维修并报告破坏行为。摩拜国际拓展主管克里斯•马丁(Chris Martin)表示:“在每一个城市,我们都有一个运营团队,我们有负责搬运这些自行车的员工和物流供应商。”
        Joseph Seal-Driver, general manager for the UK and Ireland at ofo, says the company has “an active team of marshals who are employed by ofo on the London living wage”.        ofo英国和爱尔兰总经理约瑟夫•西尔-德赖弗(Joseph Seal-Driver)表示,该公司有“一支忙碌的管理员团队,这些管理员是ofo雇的,领伦敦最低生活工资”。
        The bike-sharing start-ups have discovered certain cities are easier to negotiate than others. According to Mr Martin, Milan and Florence have been particularly successful for Mobike, although he declined to outline financial details. And despite the challenges in Manchester, the company has not withdrawn from the city but instead chosen to restrict bikes to the city centre. “The economics and needs of cities are so varied right now,” he said.        共享单车初创企业发现某些城市更容易搞定。马丁说,摩拜在米兰和佛罗伦萨特别成功,尽管他拒绝透露财务细节。尽管在曼彻斯特面临种种挑战,但摩拜并未退出该市,而是选择将运营区域限制在市中心。他说:“现在各个城市的盈亏和需求状况差异很大。”
        GoBee’s exit from France will raise concerns for others attempting to launch in Paris. Last month Mobike started a trial in the city, hot on the heels of ofo in December. The city’s own bike-sharing system, Velib, has suffered after a roll-out of new bikes and docking stations was delayed under a new operator.        GoBee退出法国将让其他试图进军巴黎市场的企业产生顾虑。今年1月,摩拜在巴黎开始试运营,紧随ofo的脚步,后者在去年12月份进入巴黎。巴黎自己的共享单车服务Velib眼下经营遇到困难,此前,该服务的新运营商未按时铺设新一批自行车和停放站。
        China’s bike-riding sector, which spawned the industry’s global leaders Mobike and ofo, also struggles with vandalism. Wukong Bicycle became one of China’s first bike-sharing start-ups to fold after it announced 90 per cent, or almost 1,100, of its bicycles had been stolen. Those bikes had only been out on the streets of Chongqing, a city in western China, for half a year. Images of “bike graveyards” where local governments deposit unwanted bikes haunt the Chinese start-ups.        中国的共享单车行业也受到破坏行为的影响——中国产生了该行业的全球领导者摩拜和ofo。悟空单车(Wukong Bicycle)在宣布其90%的自行车(近1100辆)被盗之后,成为中国首批退出市场的共享单车初创企业之一。那些自行车只在中国西部的重庆市的街道上存活了半年。地方政府收缴的被弃自行车形成的“自行车坟墓”,成为困扰中国共享单车初创企业的噩梦景象。
        The companies have turned to technological solutions to limit bad behaviour. All of Mobike’s fleet, and most of ofo’s fleet, is GPS-enabled and communicates with the company’s servers. If bikes are left unlocked or parked in the wrong places, the companies will dock points from that user.        这些公司已经开始使用技术来限制不文明行为。摩拜的所有自行车和ofo的大部分自行车都有GPS功能,并与公司的服务器通信。如果自行车用完后没有上锁或者被停放在不该停的地方,公司将扣减该用户的信用分。
        Ofo, which is backed by Alibaba, whose payments affiliate Ant Financial provides credit scoring through its Sesame Credit big data platform, has also turned to more comprehensive credit-scoring measures. It requires its worst-scoring offenders to pay a steeper deposit. But according to Mr Panozzo, all these efforts come at a cost.        得到阿里巴巴(Alibaba)投资的ofo也运用了更全面的信用评分措施——阿里巴巴旗下的支付关联公司蚂蚁金服(Ant Financial)通过其芝麻信用大数据平台提供信用评分。它要求分值最低的不文明用户支付更多押金。但据帕诺佐说,所有这些努力都是有代价的。
        “The commercial sustainability of these systems is not so easy to figure out,” he said.        他说:“这些服务的商业可持续性让人不太容易看懂。”
                
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