Was als die Idee von Leihfahrrädern in China vielleicht mal ganz gut gedacht war, entwickelte sich zu einem ernsthaften Problem. Nicht nur, dass die Dinger die Städte überflutet haben und/oder immer im Weg rumstanden, irgendwann gingen erste Firmen pleite und ließen ihre Räder quasi einfach zurück. Irgendwann begann die Regierung damit, diese einzusammeln und auf Fahrradfriedhöfen abzustellen. Zehntausende. Die Bilder davon sind wirklich ziemlich crazy, zumal man die Dinger ja eigentlich fahren könnte. Irre.
Bicycle sharing, known as one of China’s „New Four Major Inventions“ originated during a period of mass entrepreneurship and innovation. In May 2015, the first dockless shared bicycles were introduced on the campus of Peking University. The concept behind bicycle sharing, „Green Travel“ and solving the “Last Mile” problem was widely welcomed. In just over two years, more than 70 shared bicycle companies had sprung up. Around 27 million shared bicycles had been deployed to major cities with distinct colors to differentiate the brands. Soon, shared bicycles began to overwhelm public spaces in cities.
Originally the government was laissez-faire about the cluttered streets and even encouraged bicycle sharing. They did not realize the seriousness of the issue until September 2017 when the government started to limit the number of bicycles deployed and placing excess bicycles in temporary locations. Such hidden locations are hard to be found in cities and have earned the name “shared bicycle graveyard“. Many shared bicycle companies have therefore closed down, leaving only a few companies still operating. Billions of Chinese Yuan of user deposits cannot be refunded, and shared bicycles costing tens of billions of Yuan are abandoned and become urban garbage.
Since January 2018, the photographer has traveled throughout the country to multiple cities that have been occupied by shared bicycles. He has visited more than 50 shared bicycle cemeteries, using aerial photography, local shooting, VR, video, audio and other multi-media methods to record this social wonder.