Beijing-based Bikelock Technology, operator of mobile bicycle-sharing app Ofo, recently said that it will withdraw from 14 cities.
The cities include Sanya, Jinan, Qingdao, Lanzhou, Nantong, Tai'an, Huizhou, Zhaoqing, Deyang, Xingtai, Changzhou, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, and Huanggang. An industry analyst said that the withdrawals are a result of technology and management shortcomings, as well as expulsions by some local governments.
Ofo entered Huizhou in March, where local authorities were already in the process of formulating rules for managing shared bicycle services. Huizhou urban management agencies requested that all bike sharing platform operators clean up their deployed bicycles, but Ofo did not respond to the request, leading to the seizure of some of its bicycles. In Tai'an, housing management and city management authorities conducted an operation to clean up shared bicycles from city streets, but Ofo nevertheless continued to deploy bicycles within the city. In Jinan and Sanya, Ofo similarly deployed its bicycles privately, without obtaining permission from city officials.
Ofo recently announced a brand upgrade, adjusting its official brand name from "Ofo Shared Bicycles" to "Ofo Little Yellow Bikes." Ofo said that it hopes that its consistent color scheme will attract users' attention and give it an edge over its competitors.
Editor's Note: Residents of Changzhou, Jinan, Lanzhou, Xiangtan, Xingtai, and Zhuzhou reported to Marbridge today that Ofo bikes are still available across all of these cities.