Development of efficient and robust electrocatalysts is critical for practical fuel cells. We report one-dimensional bunched platinum-nickel (Pt-Ni) alloy nanocages with a Pt-skin structure for the oxygen reduction reaction that display high mass activity (3.52 amperes per milligram platinum) and specific activity (5.16 milliamperes per square centimeter platinum), or nearly 17 and 14 times higher as compared with a commercial platinum on carbon (Pt/C) catalyst. The catalyst exhibits high stability with negligible activity decay after 50,000 cycles. Both the experimental results and theoretical calculations reveal the existence of fewer strongly bonded platinum-oxygen (Pt-O) sites induced by the strain and ligand effects. Moreover, the fuel cell assembled by this catalyst delivers a current density of 1.5 amperes per square centimeter at 0.6 volts and can operate steadily for at least 180 hours.