SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — The world’s leading bicycle sharing platform, ofo of China, has discontinued its service in Busan after less than a year in operation.
According to ofo Korea, the company sent an email to its subscribers informing them that the company would be no longer offering its services due to extenuating circumstances.
The company ended its bicycle sharing operations on October 31 and is currently collecting bicycles under its ownership from throughout the Busan region.
Ofo Korea launched its services in Busan for the first time in Korea in January of this year. Before the decision to retrieve the bicycles, there were over 3,000 bicycles available to users in Busan.
One Busan city official said that approximately 1,500 bicycles have already been picked up by ofo Korea after its announcement to discontinue services was made to its subscribers.
Ofo gained popularity in other countries for its dock-less bicycles that could be shared on a larger scale. Users wishing to use ofo’s services merely had to download a smartphone application, borrow a bicycle and return it after use.
Instead of having to physically returning the bike to a specific location, the GPS device attached to each bicycle allowed users to park them at any location.
Scanning the QR code attached to a bike using a smartphone gave users access.
The fees for the usage were inexpensive with prices fixed at 500 won for 30 minutes, 4,000 won for a seven-day pass and 7,900 won for a 30-day pass.
Ofo has already ceased operations in other countries such as Japan, Australia and Germany.
In many parts of the world, the company has been sued by its service providers – including bicycle producers – for failing to pay them for their services.
In light of the accusations, ofo’s CEO Dai Wei has given up his legal rights as the top executive of the company.
Critics claim that ofo’s financial troubles coupled with the implementation of a new local law that makes safety helmets mandatory are the main reasons for the company’s decision to pull out of the Korean market.
Ofo Korea has not released any official comments regarding the recent decision.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)