China’s already hypercompetitive bike-sharing market has a newcomer that hopes to stand out with flashy gold-colored bicycles. TechNode reports that CoolQi (酷骑 kùqí), in cooperation with Chinese electronics company Haier, has introduced the bling bikes to 50 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen. Another distinguishing feature is that the bikes are equipped with on-board phone chargers that have a phone holder and a variety of charging cables. Like other bike-sharing companies such as Ofo and Mobike, CoolQi operates with an app and a QR code system, but its pricing is slightly higher than that of its competitors — the deposit fee is 298 yuan ($43) and a half-hour ride costs 1.50 yuan ($0.20), compared with its major rival Ofo’s 99 yuan ($15) deposit fee and 1 yuan ($0.15) for an hour-long ride.
On the social media platform Weibo, Chinese internet users appeared to dislike the gold bikes, with many calling them tuhao bikes — tǔ háo 土豪 is a slang word to describe China’s nouveau riche who show off their wealth through garish, often golden, clothes, cars, and mobile phones.
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