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March 13, 2019

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On your bike: Mobike to put brakes on Asia plans

Mobike plans to pull out of some Asian countries and reevaluate its units in other overseas markets amid a wide-scale contraction in the market and the bankruptcy of top competitor ofo.

The Beijing-based firm, which is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, has launched its signature orange bikes in markets including Australia, Europe and the United States.

The company said it will lay off at least 10 staff as part of its restructuring.

“We are currently seeking to optimize our international business. On that principle, Mobike will close in some countries in Asia ... At the same time, we will continue to evaluate other countries and regions,” the company said.

TechCrunch earlier reported that Mobike laid off its Asia-Pacific operations team, including staff and contractors in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Australia.

The move comes as China’s bike-sharing industry — which once included multiple firms valued at over US$1 billion each — is experiencing a sharp downturn, forcing several closures and acquisitions after years of breakneck growth.

Mobike was acquired by Beijing-based on-demand services company Meituan Dianping for US$2.7 billion last April.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd-backed ofo, once Mobike’s top competitor, announced last year that it would consider applying for bankruptcy, leaving millions of customers demanding the return of their deposits.


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