【经济学人】摩拜和
小黄车真的会合并?

尽管Ofo和摩拜 已成为国内共享单车两大巨头并正向国外“攻城略池”,但尚未 能够盈利是它们不得不面对的事实。通过不 断烧钱以获取市场份额的做法能持续多久?共享单 车领域能容得下两家都能盈利的巨头吗?

中国共 享单车巨头仍在尝试盈利

 

【经济学人】摩拜和
小黄车真的会合并?

译者:徐嘉茵 & 赵萌萌

校对:邵海灵

策划:邹世昌

One answer would be for Ofo and Mobike to merge

 Ofo摩拜合并,或许是条出路

 

本文选自 The Economist | 取经号原创翻译

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STEVE JOBS liked to describe computers as “bicycles for the mind”—tools that let humans do things faster and more efficiently than their bodies would allow. The internet-connected bikes flooding the streets of urban China could be called “computers for the road”. Networked, trackable and data-generating, they are ones and zeros in aluminium form.

史蒂夫·乔布斯 喜欢把计算机比作“头脑自行车” —— 一种更为快捷、高效的办事工具,让人类 超越了自身机体的限制。而泛滥 于中国城市大街小巷的联网单车,可以谓之为“公路计算机”了。可联网、可追踪、可以生成数据,这些单 车简直就是披着铝制外壳的二进制代码

ones and zeros:由两个基本字符0和1组成的代码,在计算机语言中,所有指 令和数据都用一串二进制代码表示,也被称为机器语言。

 

The cycles belong to Ofo and Mobike, two startups that, taken together, have raised $2.2bn of capital and are valued at more than $4bn. Each has between 7m and 10m bikes in China, averages 30m-35m rides a day and, having entered more than 100 Chinese cities, is expanding abroad. At the start of 2016 neither firm had a single bike on a public road. Ofo’s canary-yellow cycles and Mobike’s silver-and-orange ones can now be found in cities from Adelaide to London and Singapore to Seattle.

这些单 车属于两家新兴公司——Ofo和摩拜,它们募 集的资金合计已达22亿美元,总市值超过40亿美元,在中国各拥有700万到1000万辆共享单车,日均骑行次数高达3000到3500万。这两个品牌已进驻100多个中国城市,如今都在向国外扩张。2016年初,公路上连一辆Ofo或摩拜 的共享单车都没有,而如今,从阿德莱德到伦敦,从新加坡到西雅图,都能看到Ofo 小黄车 和摩拜那银橙色单车的身影。

 

Most city bike-sharing systems, such as the Vélib scheme in Paris, depend on fixed docks in which cycles must be parked. Ofo and Mobike instead pioneered a “dockless” bike secured with a smart lock that can be released with a smartphone app. They charge much less than public programmes. In London it costs £2 ($2.66), and typically lots of poking at an unresponsive kiosk-mounted screen, just to unlock a city-run shared bike. The equivalent with an Ofo, after an initial deposit, is 50 pence every half an hour and a few seconds to get going. In China rides cost between 0.50 and 1 yuan ($0.08-0.15) for 30 minutes.

大部分 城市的共享单车系统都依赖固定的停车桩,单车必须在这里停放,比如巴 黎的自助式自行车出租服务Vélib。而Ofo和摩拜则率先采用了“无桩”单车,通过手 机应用解开智能锁,以此保证车辆的安全,收费也 比公共项目低得多。在伦敦,骑一次 城市公用单车需要花费两英镑(约合2.66美元),而且安 在取车亭的电子屏还不好用,点很多下才能有反应。但同样情况下,如果使用Ofo共享单车,交完开户押金后,每骑半小时只需花费50便士,解锁也只要几秒钟。在中国,骑行半 小时仅需花费五角到一块(约合0.08至0.15美元)。

 

It helps that the firms save on physical infrastructure such as docks. But the main reason they can afford such low fees is because they have abundant funding: in June Mobike raised $600m, much of it from Tencent, a messaging, gaming and payments giant. (Qualcomm, an American chipmaker, made a smaller investment this month.) In July Ofo raised $700m in a funding round led by Alibaba, an e-commerce and payments company.

公司在 停车桩这样的实体基础设施上节约资金是有好处的。但它们 能负担低价收费的主要原因,是企业拥有充裕的资金:今年6月,摩拜融资6亿美元,大金主是腾讯,一个集信息传送、游戏开 发及支付功能于一身的商业巨头。(美国芯 片制造公司高通于本月对摩拜进行了规模较小的投资。)而在7月,Ofo在新一 轮融资中募集了7亿美元资金,由电商 兼支付公司阿里巴巴领投。

abundant [ə’bʌndənt] adj. Something that is abundant is present in large quantities. 丰富的、大量的

 

Many smaller, copycat bike-share startups have gone under. Last week it emerged that Bluegogo, a distant third in China’s bike-sharing wars, had gone bust. Its puny $90m in funding and 700,000 bikes were no match for the market leaders. Another operator shut down after 90% of its 1,200 bikes were stolen six months after launch. Many schemes have been funded with scant financial analysis by investors.

许多规 模较小的单车公司跟风不久就倒闭了。在中国 共享单车大战中位列第三的小蓝单车已于上周宣布破产,黯然退出。仅凭那微不足道的9000万资金和70万辆共享单车,它根本 无法与市场领军企业抗衡。另一家 单车企业总共只有1200辆共享单车,上市仅 半年就被偷得只剩十分之一,无奈只能关门大吉。很多项目都是还没经过充分的财务分析,投资者就一拥而上了。

scant [skænt] adj. there is very little of something or not as much of something as there should be.少量的、不足的

 

Nor are Ofo and Mobike profitable, though not for want of growth. China’s bike-sharing market grew from 33m yuan in the third quarter of 2016 to 3.9bn yuan in the second quarter of 2017, says iResearch, a market-research firm. Zhang Yanqi, an Ofo co-founder, thinks China could support 300m rides a day, up from 50m-60m today. Both firms believe rental fees alone could make them profitable businesses if they stopped spending on expansion at home and abroad.

但Ofo和摩拜也并未盈利,尽管它们并非没有增长。据市场调查公司iResearch称,中国的 共享单车市场的营业收入已从2016年第三季度的3300万人民 币上升至今年第二季度的39亿人民币。Ofo的联合 创始人张严琪认为,中国能 支撑的骑行次数,可从现在的日均5000万到6000万增加至3亿。两家公司都认为,如果他 们停止国内外市场的扩张支出,单靠租 车费就能实现盈利。

for want of : because someone lacks something. 因为没有

 

Analysts reckon the real money may be in other sources of revenue. The firms hold hundreds of millions worth of yuan in deposits collected from users. For now this money lies unutilised—Chinese law is unclear about how, if it all, it can be used. But firms hope that will change. Lending it would be one possibility.Another idea is a sort of crowdsourced logistics, asking riders to carry along packages in exchange for free rides or a small payment. Mobike already incentivises users to move its bikes around to high-demand areas by offering “red envelopes” worth a few yuan. Advertising on “billboards” within wheels is also a promising avenue. And the firms can agree with brands to offer digital coupons for shops on a rider’s route. Mobike works with McDonald’s and JD.com, an e-commerce company, to do just that.

分析人士推测,单车企业的收入大头或许得 依靠其他途径才能获得。这些公 司掌握着数以亿计的用户押金,目前这 笔资金仍在闲置——中国在 押金使用方面没有明确的法律规定,或者可以说,根本没 有相关法律条文。但单车 企业仍希望这种局面会有所转变。关于如 何利用客户押金,一种可能是借出去,另一种 则倾向于众包物流,即用户 骑车时顺便配送一些包裹,以此换 取免费骑行机会或者小额资金奖励。摩拜单 车早已开始推行这种模式,以几块 钱的红包激励用户把车辆骑至高需求地区。“车轮上的广告牌”也是很 有前景的一种盈利方式。单车企 业可以与商家达成协议,为骑车 经过的用户提供该商户的电子优惠券。摩拜已 经与麦当劳及京东进行了类似合作。

real money : an informal term for a large amount of money. 巨额资金

But most value could come from data, especially used in partnership with Alibaba and Tencent. The bike-sharing firms are already becoming part of their strategic investors’ business models. Ofo uses Alibaba’s credit-rating system to allow users to rent bikes with no deposit, for example. More data could be shared. As Mr Zhang puts its, the firm’s main investor, Alibaba, “already knows how much [users] spend, where they spend it and what they spend it on. But with us they have a very strong idea of people’s total activity.” Mobike says it does not share data on a commercial basis with any firm.

然而,最有价值的还是数据,尤其是 与阿里巴巴及腾讯合作后共享的那部分数据。共享单 车企业已经成为其战略投资者商业运营模式的一部分了。Ofo就利用 了阿里巴巴的信用评级制度,允许信 用评级高的用户租用单车免交押金。合作双 方还可以进行更深入的数据共享。就像张严琪所说,Ofo的主要 投资方阿里巴巴“已经知 晓用户的消费总额、消费地 点及所购物品了。但与我们合作之后,他们可 以更清楚地把握用户的整个活动情况。”摩拜表 示不会出于商业目的与任何公司分享数据。

 

The bike wars recall the one between ride-hailing firms in China, which ended with mergers that left one player, Didi Chuxing. Rumours of a possible merger between Ofo and Mobike have been swirling for weeks. Allen Zhu, an early investor in Ofo who is pushing for a merger, says making money is terrifically hard with so much competition. But neither Ofo nor Mobike is willing publicly to admit it. “In my entire career at Ofo I have spent less than five minutes talking about a merger with Mobike,” says Mr Zhang. “I don’t see any point or meaning in merging,” maintains Mobike’s president, Hu Weiwei.

这场共 享单车大战不禁让人回想起了中国的网约车大战,最后合 并到只剩滴滴出行一个玩家。近几周一直有Ofo可能与 摩拜合并的传言。Ofo的早期 投资人朱啸虎在极力促成这次合并,他表示 要在如此激烈的竞争中实现盈利,难度实在太大了。但Ofo和摩拜 都不愿意公开承认这一点。张严琪表示:“从我进入Ofo那天起,花在与 摩拜合并这个话题的时间,加起来不到五分钟。”摩拜总 裁胡玮炜则坚称:“合并没有任何意义。”