MASTERCLASSING

Bike-sharing service Ofo pulls out of London amid international scale back

Tyrone Stewart

OfoChinese bike-sharing firm Ofo is reportedly moving out of London amid financial trouble which is seeing the company wind down its entire international business.

The Alibaba-backed platform is on the brink of bankruptcy, according to reports out of China, and has already withdrawn its services in Norwich, Sheffield, and Oxford after having issues with the number of people using the service and vandalism.

At its height, Ofo’s services were available in 250 cities in 21 countries across Asia, Europe, the US, and Australia, but it has struggled like most bike-sharing services. In September 2017, Chinese rival Bluegogo went bust, leaving Ofo to battle with Mobike – but both have struggled with many of the same problems, Mobike quitting Manchester last year.

Ofo has now dissolved its international division, including the UK operation, and it has offered its remaining staff the option to leave or take a 50 per cent pay cut and transfer to the Chinese business.