2020 applicants
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Essex alumnus and Honorary Graduate wins British Council Award in China

  • Date

    Mon 9 Dec 19

British Council Alumni winner Yiping Xia

An Essex graduate from China is being celebrated for his entrepreneurial vision after winning a British Council Alumni Award for promoting sustainable transport by establishing Mobike the world's first and largest smart bike share.

Yiping Xia is co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Mobike and won the Entrepreneurial Award at the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards 2019-20 held in China. The Award highlights alumni from UK universities who have played a leading role in innovation or creative solutions.

Software engineer Yiping, graduated from University of Essex with an MSc specialising in telecommunications and information systems, where he developed his life-long problem-solving abilities.

He said: “This award acknowledges my previous study experience in the UK, as well as my achievements as the co-founder of Mobike. However, this is not the end of my ambitions, it’s just the beginning.”


Yiping has extensive experience working in the car industry, which helped fuel his ambition to start his own smart transport service.

He worked at Ford Motor Company for five years before becoming Head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Uconnect Connected Vehicle Division for the APAC region in 2014.

In 2015, Yiping co-founded the bike sharing company, Mobike, one of the first and largest smart bike-sharing services in the world.

Yiping’s aim was to provide an affordable and healthy solution to urban commuters and reduce congestion and pollution in major cities.

Mobikes are equipped with unique smart-lock technology and built in GPS so users can pick up a bike by locking it through the app and park it at any public bicycle parking area. 

The company has more than 200 million users worldwide, currently operates in more than 200 cities across the globe and has greatly improved the transport system in large and populous cities such as Singapore.

Yiping’s entrepreneurial talents secured his place at 20th in Fortune’s 2017 40 under 40 List, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.

In February 2019, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex at the University’s first ever Asia Graduation Ceremony.

Yiping was officially announced as a winner at the Study UK Alumni Awards ceremony in Beijing on 9 December. He was one of nine UK alumni in China recognised for their outstanding achievements at the ceremony.

Matt Burney, Country Director at the British Council in China, said: “The Alumni Awards allow us to come together to celebrate to the role international students play in making the UK one of the most diverse, dynamic and rewarding higher education destinations for international study.”

Winners of the national level British Council Alumni Awards will be announced early next year. National winners will then be entered into the Global Alumni Awards in March 2020.