China's bicycle exports surge amid COVID-19 precautions

With heightened awareness of social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, many have turned to bicycling. China exported a total of 41.66 million bikes during the first nine months of this year, an increase of 3.9 percent year on year, as more people turn to cycling for short journeys.

From January to September, the volume of bicycle exports expanded 12 percent over the same period last year to $2.43 billion, according to data from the China Bicycle Association.

Cycling has become a travel choice for more people, serving as a catalyst in the development of the bicycle and electric bicycle industries, said Guo Wenyu, vice president and secretary general of the association.

Sales abroad, especially in the European Union, continue to increase, Guo added.

The association expects the bicycle industry to see its combined revenues surpass 360 billion yuan (about $54.78 billion) in 2020, up 10 percent year on year, and maintain robust growth momentum in overseas markets such as Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.

According to Erhard Buchel, president of the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, European imports of bikes, electric bikes and parts from China amounted to 1 billion euros (almost $1.19 billion) in 2016, increased to 1.5 billion euros in 2019, and are expected to near 2 billion euros in 2020.

(Cover: Cycling race in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, November 22, 2020. /CFP)

(With input from Xinhua)