If you remotely remember there is this little bit of machine which enables us to glide around. I first encountered one in real life when I shot a documentary at Tun Dr Mahathir’s house at Mines there was one sitting in the corner collecting dust. That was when I first laid my eyes on a contraption which I thought was pretty cool.
Then in Chicago I saw group tours where everyone had Segways to ride on and thought that it was pretty cool. How far must I be to think that it was cool especially when TIME magazine has rated Segway as one of the top 10 tech failures in America.
Now it is apparent that rival Chinese company, Ninebot, has acquired Segway. What does it mean? It means that China is tired of being called just a copy cat.
So why does a Chinese company want to acquire Segway? A little over 6 months ago, Segway did file a complaint against Ninebot for patent infringement. Now, with the backing of Xiaomi, Ninebot is flexing its financial muscle buy outrightly buying over Segway to bolster its own arsenal and not be known as a copy cat. So who is Ninebot?
Ninebot is a company in China which built personal transportation robots, which looks similarly to the Segway. Of course Segways have been around longer but it doesn’t mean that it should be capitalising on this market.
Ninbot’s target is probably the patents which Segway owns and with that it makes Ninebot a serious player in the space of personal mobility and with a market as huge as China, it is a no brainer. It falls within Xiaomi’s strategy towards a smart home and with it’s large e-commerce reach, you know the potential is insanely huge.
Photo credit: Wesley Fryer (Flickr)