Daily Drip

Bike-Sharing Company Ofo Backpedals on International Dreams


We’ve written a lot about the ongoing war between shared-bike giants Mobike and Ofo. One is orange, and one is yellow. One is a portmanteau, and one is not. Those are some of the biggest differences between the two companies, who provide near-identical products and services in the rapidly expanding “shared economy”.

But with little to differentiate the two brands’ dockless shared bikes, the battle comes down to the simple question: who is the better company? 

Ofo is looking nervous, having now announced a major pullback across its less profitable international sectors.

The company will be pulling its bikes altogether from several countries, and scaling back operations in other countries to focus on major cities. Ofo had expanded into international operations very quickly, and from the looks of it, without enough focus on sustainability.

They’ll be removing service in Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Israel, and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, they’ll also be scaling back heavily on the number of operational cities in Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US. As part of the re-shuffle, co-founder and CEO Dai Wei will be directly in charge of international strategy.

Meituan: The “One-Stop Super App” That’s Hungry for Expansion

The announcement comes not long after Mobike was bought by the all-consuming mega app Meituan. Meituan’s services compete directly with China’s largest food delivery apps, ride-hailing apps, and with the acquisition of Mobike, bike-sharing apps. Bolstered with increased financial resources, Mobike was able to stop requiring refundable deposits from new users. Ofo, however, has not been able to make that leap.

While nothing is certain, it seems Ofo’s chain has come loose, so to speak. The company appears to be spinning its wheels in place. They just can’t gear up for this level of competition, and haven’t had any luck catching a brake. Alright, enough bike puns. Things aren’t looking great for Ofo, but tune in next time for continued blow-by-blow updates.

Get up to speed:

Mobike’s New Shared Car is Here and Oh Boy the Future is Now

New All-Terrain Shared Bikes from Ofo Ensure Gnarly Public Shredding

Mobike Launches Shared Bikes in the US, Plus Evidence of Global Takeover

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan
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