According to statistics from
, since 2018, China has exported more than 80% of its annual production of bikes for two consecutive years. Although the annual production of electric bikes has been increasing year on year, more than 90% are still “self-produced and self-sold”.
In recent years, electric bikes have gradually replaced traditional bikes as the preferred choice for short and medium distance travel in China. In the two-wheeled market, the proportion of sales of electric bikes rose from 40.7% to 73.4% between 2008 and 2019, representing an increase in market share of over 30% in 12 years. Domestic conventional bikes, on the other hand, are hugely popular overseas, with nearly 80% of annual production exported to countries such as Europe and the US.
Electric bikes are in demand in China, traditional bikes are preferred abroad
According to statistics, since 2018, China has exported more than 80% of its annual production of bikes for two consecutive years. Although the annual output of electric bikes has been rising year on year, more than 90% is still “self-produced and self-sold”.
Data from the China bike Industry Association shows that China’s main export markets for bikes are the United States, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. From January to June this year, China exported 6.116 million bikes to the United States, an increase of 8.4% year-on-year, achieving a large increase. Exports to Vietnam and South Korea maintained strong growth, with 784,000 units exported to Vietnam, up 72.6% year-on-year, and 734,000 units exported to South Korea, up 37.4% year-on-year.
Overall, the bike export situation improved in 2020. Statistics from the General Administration of Customs show that as of September 2020, the number and value of bike exports have achieved positive year-on-year growth for five consecutive months. The cumulative export volume of bikes reached 41.66 million units in the first nine months of this year, and the data is estimated as an average value, with the total export volume of bikes this year being about 55.55 million units and the export value being about 22.7 billion yuan, higher than in 2019.
In addition, data from Alibaba’s international website shows that the bike industry has seen more than 100% growth in take-home GMV (gross transaction value) for six consecutive months, with orders in October up 220% on last year. The China bike Association revealed at the recent 2020 China bike Industry Conference that industry revenue will exceed RMB 360 billion this year, up 10% year-on-year, and exports to overseas markets such as Europe, America and Southeast Asia continue to maintain high growth momentum.
China leads the world in bike production
Professional data shows that there are currently more than 610,000 bike-related businesses in China. In the first 10 months of this year, more than 130,000 new bike-related enterprises were added, representing a year-on-year increase of 51.53%.
Data statistics on six listed companies in the bike industry chain reported earnings for the third quarter of 2020 and found that their performance benefited to varying degrees. Shanghai Phoenix saw its operating income rise by 50% and its net profit nearly double. Xinri, which is engaged in the production of electric bikes, saw its operating income rise by 78.5%. Long-established bike maker Zhonglu increased its net profit by more than 40 million yuan in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the same period last year, turning a loss into a profit. Net profit of Xinlong Health, a bike parts manufacturer, rose by 127%.
In its third-quarter earnings report, Xinlong Health disclosed that it had received orders for bike parts until the third quarter of 2021, and the number of orders received each month was gradually increasing. The relevant person in charge of Shanghai Phoenix said that the company’s orders have also been scheduled until July 2021.
The recently released “2021 bike-Electric bike Trend Report” shows that by the end of 2019, China’s annual bike production was more than 80 million units, and the average annual production of electric bikes exceeded 30 million units. China has nearly 400 million bikes and 300 million e-bikes in social ownership, with bike production ranking first in the world.
At the same time, the bursting of the bike sharing “bubble” has plunged the domestic bike market into a downturn. According to CITIC Securities data, domestic bike sales fell for two consecutive years from 2018 to 2019, with a 56% drop in 2018 and a 10% drop in 2019, with annual sales measured at less than 10 million units after excluding shared bike orders.
Most people in China buy conventional bikes for sport
In recent years, the bike industry has seen a clear trend towards mid-to-high-end. According to the China bike Association, domestic sales of high-end sport bikes grew by 20% in 2019, with the backbone enterprises maintaining growth of around 10% in mid- to high-end products. bikes above $1,000 accounted for 13.7% of total production, up 2.2 percentage points from the previous year.
The China Reality Research survey showed that nearly 65% of those with a need to buy a new bike in China did so for leisure and sporting purposes. 30% of consumers with purchase plans were willing to choose a bike over $1,000.
As the epidemic continues overseas, bike sales also remain on the rise. The World Health Organisation has urged people to get out and cycle during the epidemic, and European governments have introduced various new policies to encourage green travel. In the aftermath of the epidemic, health awareness is set to rise further and the recovery of mid- to high-end bike consumption for fitness and exercise purposes will accelerate.