China’s bike exports to Europe increase amid COVID-19

By Qi Xijia Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/4 17:58:42

People ride bikes past closed stores at Times Sqaure in New York City, the United States, May 29, 2020. New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, is set to enter phase one of the reopening process on June 8, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.Photo:Xinhua

China's bikes exports to European countries are increasing as demand for alternative travel options rises alongside easing lockdown measures.

Bicycle sales in the Spanish market increased more than 22 times in May compared to the same period last year, and four times in the Italian and the UK markets, according to data from AliExpress, Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce platform. 

He Chong, an electric bike vendor on AliExpress, told the Global Times that sales in May soared 1,600% compared to the same period last year, and doubled sales in April.

"Most of our buyers are from Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Now we are expanding and working until midnight to meet the orders," He, who is in charge of operations at the Sheng Milo brand, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The company resumed work on February 18 and was among the first to reopen in Guangdong Province. 

He said the company now delivers 240 bikes every week from its factory in Foshan to its European warehouse in Poland. 

Shipments are made via the China-Europe railway, a journey that takes 25-30 days.

"Overall it is quite fast. It takes four days to deliver bikes from our European warehouses to European consumers," he said.

Overseas demand for Chinese-made bikes is strong due to competitive prices, said Li Kai, head of AliExpress' sports division.

"Bicycles exported from China account for more than 70 percent of the global market share, and electric vehicles account for a higher proportion," Li said.

According to He, the price of an electric bike in the European market is around $16,000, meaning Chinese-made bikes priced at roughly $12,000 are more competitive.

"The French and Italian governments have provided subsidies to encourage cycling, which is also boosting sales of electric bikes," Li said.

The Italian government has approved subsidies of up to 500 euros ($560.21) for anyone who buys a new bicycle or electric scooter to encourage alternative travel methods and limit public transport congestion. 

The French government also announced a funding plan totaling 20 million euros to encourage people to travel by bicycle. Business owners will also receive government funding to provide employees who commute by bike with subsidies of 400 euros per person.


blog comments powered by Disqus