Licence of bike-sharing firm ofo in Singapore suspended: LTA

Thousands of Ofo sharing bicycles are seen piled up at an open area on 14 January, 2019, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province of China. (PHOTO: VCG via Getty Images)

The operating licence of Chinese bike-sharing firm ofo in Singapore was suspended with effect from Thursday (14 February) and it will be required to remove all bikes from public places within a month.

The firm had failed to comply with regulatory requirements by Wednesday, despite previous correspondences, said a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that the deadline for ofo to remove all its bicycles from public places is 13 March.

The suspension will only be lifted if the company were to meet all regulatory requirements, including proper implementation of the QR code system.

The LTA will continue to monitor ofo’s compliance efforts and may cancel its licence if does not show satisfactory progress, the spokesperson said.

ofo  was facing “immense” cash flow problems and shutting the firm had been considered as an option, its chief executive Dai Wei said in a letter to employees in December last year, according to Reuters.

A week before the letter,  millions of users in China applied for a return of the deposits that they had paid to use the platform, adding to the firm’s financial woes, the report added.

Former employees said that the firm’s operations have “practically ceased” in Singapore, according to a Channel NewsAsia report earlier this month.

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