A Rickshaw originally denoted a two or three-wheeled passenger cart, now known as a pulled Rickshaw, which is generally pulled by a man carrying a passenger. A rough form of a rickshaw is sometimes used for hauling coal, building materials or other material. Both motorized and pedal-power cycle rickshaws, or pedicabs, were used for short-distance passenger travel.
Pulled rickshaws created a popular form of transportation, and a source of employment for male laborers, within Asian cities in the 19th century.
The rickshaw's popularity in Japan had declined by the 1930s with the advent of automated forms of transportation like automobiles and trains.
In post-war Hong Kong, rickshaws were one of the main transportation either for transporting goods or for transporting people during the Japanese invasion, known as the Battle of Hong Kong.
In Singapore, rickshaw's popularity increased into the 20th century. There were approximately 50,000 rickshaws in 1920 and that number had doubled by 1930.
In countries such as India and Bangladesh (especially in the Bengal area), rickshaws remain very popular transport for persons and goods. In Dhaka, it is estimated that around 450,000 vehicles circulate every day.
Macau still uses tri-wheels bicycle rickshaw, and this kind of transportation was very famous until the late 20th century, due to the fact of being a small city, with few cars, not so much motorcycle, very bad public transport and none other transport such as train or subway.
Nowadays it's very rare to find the traditional rickshaw in non-electric tricycle form.