Bamboo Bicycle Beijing integrates hutong life and culture into business model

By Ian Callison and Kyle Hodges ( ) Updated: 2016-07-18 16:02:03

In 2014, Bamboo Bicycles Beijing founder David Wang started his business in the Langjia hutong. He had seen the immense number of abandoned bicycles in Beijing, and began restoring discarded bicycles. Then, he learned to make them out of bamboo.

After a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign allowed Wang to open up a shop, he decided that he not only wanted to make the bikes, but also wanted to reach out to the community and teach others how to build bamboo bicycles. Since then, the company also has built bikes in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

The shop aims to not only reintroduce bicycles as a popular form of transportation in Beijing, but also to connect with the community and to start conversations about sustainability and mobility.

According to the Beijing co-manager Claudio Rebuzzi, Wang chose to set up the workshop in the hutong because the hutongs, despite being part of an ancient community, are also a center for innovation and change.

"It's a really unique place, Rebuzzi said. “Sure there are lots of areas that are similar to the hutong around the world, but the sort of flavor, the Chinese traditional life flavor of the hutong, is very unique."

As a business in a hutong, Bamboo Bicycles Beijing is not unique. There are many other shops opening up around Beijing in hutong spaces selling a vast array of goods.

However, its commitment to sustainability and emphasis on becoming a part of the hutong community sets Bamboo Bicycles Beijing apart from many other businesses.

"David really likes the lifestyle of the hutong and he decided that it would fit well with what he wanted Bamboo Bicycles Beijing to represent,” Rebuzzi said. “The community was almost a side thing, but is one of the main aspects of us now."

Camera: Kyle Hodges (intern)

Reporters: Ian Callison & Kyle Hodges (intern)

Editor: Kyle Hodges (intern)

Executive producer: Chen Lin

Bamboo Bicycle Beijing integrates hutong life and culture into business model

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