Second Chinese bike-sharing firm closes after losing more than 1,000 of its bikes in 4 months

Beijing bike-sharing firm 3Vbikes is the second Chinese bike-sharing company to collapse, after Wukong Bike PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Beijing-based bike-sharing firm 3Vbike announced in Chinese media on Monday (June 3) that it had ceased operations since June 21 after losing more than 1,000 of its bikes in just four months of operations.

The firm said that most of the missing bikes had been stolen, reported Global Times.

Its founder, Mr Wu Shenghua, told Chinese newspapers: "Without results in the first round of fundraising, I purchased 1,000 bikes on my own. Now, there are only tens of bikes left. In some areas, we have none left. We can't survive like this."

According to the South China Morning Post, 3Vbike began operating in February this year, placing about 1,000 bicycles for hire in cities in the Hebei and Fujian provinces.

However, as the company did not have its own mobile app to track the bikes, it had to depend on a cycle location tracking function on its WeChat page.

As a result, many of the bikes quickly disappeared.

3Vbike publicly appealed for its bikes to be returned last month - however, it only managed to recover a few dozen.

The company is currently using its WeChat account to tell customers to claim their deposits as soon as possible.

Mr Wu stated that around 95 per cent of deposits have already been returned.

The Global Times' report cited "limited resources and the lack of support in some administrative departments" as some of the challenges 3Vbike faced.

There are currently many bike-sharing firms in China, which leads to fierce competition.

Two of the biggest players are Mobike and ofo, which also operate in Singapore, and controlled 57 per cent and 30 per cent of the Chinese market respectively as of April 22 this year.

3Vbike is the second bike-sharing in company to fail after Wukong Bike, which collapsed in June after just five months.

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