If you've used one of the silver/orange sharing bikes of the operator Mobike, there is a good chance it was built in a production site of Hongji Bike. In recent years, the Chinese bicycle manufacturer has produced more than 3.5 million units of the model 'Mobike Classic', up to 60,000 units per month. Numbers like these already demonstrate very clearly the enormous capacities of the company based in Changzhou, about 200 km west of Shanghai.
“Hongji has been developing and producing bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters for top players worldwide. Our production capability is second to none in China,” says general manager Alfred Wang. “We are fast to respond to both large and small batch orders with customisation requirements,” he adds.
Hongji Bike was established in 2017 to serve the fast-growing mobility industry, especially when it comes to short distances. The company’s primary focus lies in e-bikes, e-scooters, and other mobility products – both in terms of production and R&D. “Therefore, we have a team of more than 100 R&D engineers working for us, all experts in their fields – no matter if it is bicycle development or IoT technologies,” says Wang.
He also refers to the network of different development and production sites which the Chinese company has built up over the last years: the manufacturing facilities include not only Hongji Bike’s factory in Changzhou but also associated capabilities nearby, as well as in Tianjin and Taiwan. Additionally, Hongji operates R&D centres in Chongqing, Wuxi (both China) and Japan. The manufacturer also partnered with a producer in the Czech Republic recently – to further strengthen their global ambitions.
A brand with a long history
Having been primarily an OEM producer so far, these global ambitions are set to receive a boost from the company’s latest initiative – the acquisition of the brand Saxy. Hongji Bike Group took-over Saxy in 2021 to develop their e-bike business on an international level. “For more exposure, the Hongji Bike Group will use the Saxy brand name to step into the global e-bike business,” Wang explains.
With Saxy, Hongji plans to target the global e-bike market, especially customers from Europe and Germany, Wang says. Therefore, the company also recently opened an office in Amsterdam to serve international customers better. The production partner in Czech also holds warehouse capacities of 40,000 bikes – to strengthen the supply chain. “I strongly believe in our brand – especially since our team has the dedication and the knowledge to develop innovative micro-mobility products and play a leading role in the industry,” he adds, referring to the in total 118 patents the company holds in the field of mobility technology.
A range of innovative e-mobility products
A closer look at the new Saxy product range shows what Wang means: Both the 'SC1' and the 'SC2' are fully integrated and yet dynamic and slim looking urban e-bikes equipped with design lights, fenders, and an integrated LCD-display with Bluetooth connectivity. The latter showcases the IoT capacities of Saxy: together with the Saxy app, the display creates a digital environment where the users can track their rides and check the current state of their e-bikes.
“You can also find the closest service centre in the app. And if there is a technical issue, our engineers in China can detect and solve it via the internet. The IoT system is really special. We developed it with the Tesla competitor NIO,” Wang explains and emphasises that the 'SC1' and the 'SC2' are entry level bikes – even though they look already like high-end bikes. “In the future, we will also release mid-level and high-end level models,” he says.
Visitor feedback on the new models at the recent Eurobike show in Frankfurt was good, says Wang, who is currently also looking for partnerships to support international growth. In the long run, he wants Hongji and its brand Saxy to become a leading player on the global e-bike market – both as a production partner and as an own brand. “Especially in China. There we want to become one of the big names in the next three years,” he emphasises.
Therefore, the company is currently hiring engineers from the automotive sector to deepen their knowledge when it comes to IoT and mobility technologies. One of Saxy's slogans is “ride into the future”. If you look at the development of the company over the last few years, it quickly becomes clear that these are not empty words. Hongji Bike and Saxy are ready for the global e-bike business.
This article was produced in collaboration with Hongji Bike.