Did you know that Segway is a Chinese company since April, and that it’s partly owned by Xiaomi, the rising star among Chinese smartphone manufacturers and one of the most valuable startups in the world?
More precisely, Xiaomi is a major shareholder of Ninebot, the Chinese company that in April 2015 acquired Segway, the company synonymous with its two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle. On Monday, Ninebot unveiled the Ninebot mini, a self-balancing scooter and the company’s first product launch after the Segway acquisition in April.
The Ninebot mini is substantially different from any of the Segway models — instead of a handle it has a knee-high steering stick. According to the company, it only takes “a few minutes” to get the hang of using it.
The electric-powered scooter can travel 22km (13.7 miles) on a single charge, with a 16km/h (9.9mph) top speed. It supports loads up to 85 kg (187.4 pounds) — definitely a dealbreaker for many — weighs 12.8 kg (28.2 pounds) and can traverse slopes up to 15 degrees.