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Are you being shared? Mobility, data and social relations in Shanghai's Public Bike Sharing 2.0 sector

Spinney, Justin and Lin, Wen-I 2018. Are you being shared? Mobility, data and social relations in Shanghai's Public Bike Sharing 2.0 sector. Applied Mobilities 3 (1) , pp. 66-83. 10.1080/23800127.2018.1437656

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Starting in early 2016, a new wave of dockless ICT-based Public Bike Sharing Systems (PBSS 2.0) has grown rapidly in many Chinese cities and is now spreading globally. Whilst there is a growing literature on sharing and a substantial technical literature on the earlier breed of docked PBSS 1.0, there is no critical academic study of this new bike sharing phenomenon. This paper seeks to contribute to social scientific debates on sharing and mobilities by exploring the nature of sharing engendered by these disruptive forms of bike sharing. Focused on a case study of Shanghai (China) and based upon a series of stakeholder interviews and media analysis, this paper explores the extent to which these systems represent more economically reproductive “transactional” or disruptive and “transformational” modalities of sharing. By exploring the social, spatial and environmental relations produced by these new “hybrid mobiles”, we conclude that PBSS 2.0 represents a retrenchment and extension of existing exploitative capitalist relations. Whilst we temper this conclusion in the knowledge that it is very early in its evolution, we argue that in its current form PBSS 2.0 is unlikely to achieve the societal transformations often cited as a benefit of the hybridisation of virtual and physical mobility.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 2380-0127
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 May 2018
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2018
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 05:46

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