Scooter-sharing has taken over the streets of San Francisco in the same way bikes dominate the sidewalks of Singapore
For those who are paying attention to trends across the Pacific, the US is in the middle of a scooter-sharing boom whereby electric scooters are taking over cities the same way bicycles have proliferated across Asia.
Companies like Bird, LimeBike and Spin have spread so quickly that cities are struggling to figure-out how, or if, they should regulate how people can use these deckles scooters.
Much like bike-sharing in Asia, local residents complain about obnoxious parking, riders taking over pedestrian sidewalks and the scooter trend introduces a more significant safety concern than bicycles.
It remains to be seen if scooter-sharing can become a cultural institution like ride-hailing or if its a passing trend. Either way, the bubble is blowing and one surprising company is taking advantage.
According to Axios, the real winner of America’s scooter wars is Xiaomi.
The company has a product called the Mi Electric Scooter and the report states it is being used by Bird, BlueDucks and Spin.
The companies all personalise the scooter for their service but the core product built by Xiaomi.
The scooters are designed by Ninebot, a company with an interesting backstory. According to the article, Ninebot was sued by Segway for patent infringement but then one year later merged the two sides merged into one company that maintain separate branding.
Founders told Axios that they chose Xiaomi because the company has risen into a premiere manufacturing company and has been working on transportation options for years. The Mi scooter was made public in 2016.
Of the major companies battling for market dominance, LimeBike is the only company that designs and owns its scooters. Axios wrote that some of the companies using Xiaomi are considering internalising their scooter production moving forward.
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