The four great new inventions in modern times are bike-sharing, high-speed rail, electronic payment, and online shopping. These four things have made a sweeping change in China, and are new and dynamic pusher to the Chinese economy and the convenience of life.
Bike-sharing or bicycle sharing first appears in 2014 and has a booming since then. In 2014, four partners Dai Wei, Xue Ding, Zhang Siding and Yuxin, established Ofo, the first company of bike-sharing, to solve people’s transport issues. In this first stage, universities are experimental units, and later, it is put into the national market. Ofo and Mobike are two leading operators of bike sharing, and there are also other operators. In the streets, you may see bikes in yellow, orange, green and blue colors, which belong to different operators.
How to use shared bikes? First, download a smartphone app of an operator of bike-sharing. Second, register an account by phone number, and pay an amount of guarantee deposit by electronic payment, about 199 or 299 yuan. Third, before using a shared bike, make sure you have open GPS in your smartphone. In the app, find “scan to use a bike”, and scan a QR( Quick Response) code on a bike. Then the bike will unlock automatically, and you may ride the bike. Last, lock the bike, finish the trip in the app and pay for this trip by electronic payment after you end your trip and park the bike in a proper place.
Things about bike-sharing you should know. First, electronic payment. Electronic payment is the only way to pay for your trip about riding a shared bike. The fare of a trip may different according to different operators. In terms of OfO, if the riding is within an hour, you should pay one yuan. While if you ride a bike from Mobike operator within half an hour, you should pay one yuan. But now, operators provide month cards and other sales promotions. Second, where to park a bike? You may park a bike on a side road, which will not get in people’s way. You may park a bike in a vacant place which allows parking. You may park a bike in line with bikes parked. Third, you should care about the bike. Do not break a bike intentionally, and report for maintenance in the smartphone app if the bike is broken.
High-Speed Rail & China High-speed Railway
Though high-speed rail is not first invented in China, China has improved it to a fast and safe level. In the construction of high-speed rail, China has overcome lots of technical difficulties and make its cost low and its speed fast. China has various and complicated landforms, like hills, mountains, basins, deserts, and plateaus, and our trains can run on them. High-speed rail is an improved version of the train and fast train. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, and high-speed rail runs at a speed of 250-350 km/h. By March 2018, it had a 25,000 kilometer- network of high-speed rail. Jing-Hu high-speed rail from Beijing to Shanghai has an operating speed of 350 km/h, which is the fastest operating speed of high-speed rail and runs for a distance of 1318 km in the least time of 4 hours and 18 minutes.
High-speed rail in China has several features and advantages, which beat high-speed rail in other countries. First, fast and safe. You may see a video that a coin can run for 8 minutes without a stop in a high-speed rail of China running at a speed of 300 km/h, and it falls down because of a change of track while pulling in a station. The video tells that the high-speed rail of China to run fast and stable, and it is safe for you. Second, it has a high on-time rate and a comfortable environment for travelling. It always arrives on time, and leave according to time table. If you want to take one high-speed rail, please don’t be late, otherwise, it will leave you in the station. In a high-speed rail, everyone has a comfortable and adjustable seat, and a small table for you to use a computer. Under the seat, there are sockets for passengers to charge electronic equipment. The trains are covered with WIFI. Third, it has a low cost and a big passenger capacity. In the making of high-speed rail, China has independent intellectual property rights. For those advantages, high-speed rail of China has entered into the world markets, and some countries have cooperations with China to build high-speed rail.
Online Shopping & E-commerce
By the end of 2017, China has about 731 million internet users, and has the world’s largest e-commerce market. Entering into the 21st century, e-commerce market in China emerges, and has a rapid expansion in years around 2010, and gradually matures. According to governmental statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce, in 2017, China has a sum of e-commerce business transaction amounting to 29160 billion yuan, and has an annual rate of growth of 11.7%, and it has an online retail sales of 7180 billion yuan, with a grow rate of 32.2%. From this data, we can see that e-commerce market is a huge and dynamic economic market in China.
In China, people like to buy things on Internet for that they are short of time, and goods selling on Internet also have guarantees in quality, still the advanced system of express delivery makes fast receiving of goods and parcels. All kinds of goods are available on the Internet, like clothes, shoes, books, electronic goods, and food. If you make an order, you may receive your goods within one day or two days. In a big parcel, a parcel could be sent within one day, while in rural areas, the delivery may need two or three days. China has many operators of e-commerce, and they could be divided into different categories according to their primary business, like cosmetics and electric appliances. Leading operators of online shopping are Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, JD, Vipshop, Pinduoduo, etc. In 2017, Tmall has a gross merchandise volume(GMV) of 2108.6 billion yuan, and in the day 2017/11/ 11, the biggest shopping festival in China, it has a volume of transaction of 168.2 billion yuan. JD has a GMV of about 1300 billion yuan in 2017.
Electronic payment is made through a third-party platform, and it is used for the online transactions. By using of electronic payment, you may pay for shopping, or transfer money to another account. In order to use electronic payment, you need to download a smartphone app of an electronic payment operator, and register an account, and bind a debit card of a bank account to this account. For online shopping, you may use Alipay, WeChat pay and also bank payment. While in using of bank payment, there is fast payment for you, and you only offer a bank account and your phone number registered in the bank.
China has two leading operators of electronic payment, Alipay and WeChat pay, which change China into a cashless society. For shopping in real stores, the two are used in every aspect of people’s lives, and the only thing you need to do is to scan payment code, enter a password and then money transfer is done. In daily life, you use the two to buy food in a food vendor, and buy goods in a store, restaurant, supermarket, and shipping mall, you may use the two to ride a shared bike, call a taxi, take a public bus, and buy tickets for a train and a flight. It could be that where there is a business transaction, there is electronic payment. Benefiting from electronic payment, people could make payments easily and go out without bringing any cash. Still there is one interesting thing. In festivals, especially the Spring Festival, Chinese people would give a red packet, or red envelope to friends, children, and families. With the coming of electronic payment, people usually give the electronic red packet to others by Wechatpay, which has developed games of the red packet, and people enjoy those games, like grabbing the red packet.