Work that used to take her 3 hours, she can now do in 40 minutes
Feb 14, 2018 · 2 min read

Whenever she’s going back and forth from her fields, 55-year-old farmer Gong Rongniang is used to turning heads.

That’s because two years ago, with the help of her son, the vegetable farmer from Futou village in Fujian province bought a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter that was on sale online at the discounted price of 2,000 yuan.

After it arrived, she quickly spent three hours learning how it worked. It has since become her main means of transportation, a daily necessity, as useful to her as her hoe or plow.

She says that work which used to take her 3 hours to complete, now takes only 40 minutes.

Each day, she can be seen riding the village roads on her segway, balancing a pole on her shoulders, carrying as much as 60 pounds of vegetables.

Watch on QQ video.

On Saturday, she was spotted on her daily commute by a Weibo user who was returning home for Spring Festival. The netizens snapped a few photos of her and posted them online, joking that farmers in the county were so “economically backward” that they had to use two-wheeled vehicles, instead of the tricycles you more typically see in rural China.

That post went viral and was picked up by media outlets across the country. Soon, reporters came to Futou village to speak to Gong.

All this attention is likely good news for Segway. While its invention had once been described as the “future of transportation,” the company later discovered that apart from mall cops not many were interested in purchasing its technological marvel.

Back in 2015, Ninebot, a Chinese self-balancing vehicle startup which had been accused of being a “Segway copycat,” settled its legal troubles by simply buying Segway with the help of an $80 million investment from Xiaomi.

It’s not yet clear if Ninebot and Xiaomi will be able to save the segway, but they certainly have made the devices more affordable.

[Images via ChinaNews]


China in bite-sized portions

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China in bite-sized portions.


China in bite-sized portions

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