China's bike-sharing firm Wukong Bike closes after 90% of its bicycles go missing

Only 10 per cent of its bicycles could be located, Wukong Bike founder Lei Houyi said. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A bicycle-sharing company in China, Wukong Bike, has become the first to shut down after 90 per cent of its bicycles went missing, just five months after it started operations.

The company, based in south-western city Chongqing, issued a statement last week, saying it was ceasing its services from June and withdrawing from the industry.

Founder Lei Houyi told Chinese news channel on Tuesday (June 20) that his failure cost the company more than a million yuan (S$200,000).

He said the company had 1,200 bicycles in Chongqing, half in Chongqing University city and the other half in the city.

However, a large number of them have gone missing, and only about 10 per cent can be located, he said.

Mr Lei added that his company was unable to secure a quality supplier like those that its competitors such as ofo bike engage.

Instead, Wukong Bike worked with small suppliers and its bicycles were easily damaged.

Wukong Bike said in its statement that it would refund its customers the outstanding value in their accounts, and requested customers to contact customer service for assistance.

Singapore has had its own share of bike-sharing woes - with users abusing the vehicles or leaving them in remote locations.

Just on Monday (June 19), four teenagers were arrested in relation to a case where a bicycle was thrown into a canal.

Last week, a 14-year-old boy was arrested for throwing an ofo bike from the 30th floor of a Housing Board block in Whampoa.

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