oBike’s deposit refund button on app mysteriously disappeared, company now in liquidation

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Photo: YouTube screengrab
 

Yesterday, co-founder of obike Edward Chen announced to reporters that matters in Singapore are being dealt with by the “local team and also the legal team and the liquidation agent”.

This comes after bike-sharing company oBike ceased operations in Singapore on Monday.

Simultaneously, many users of the app have gone into a frenzy after discovering that the latest app update removed the button that allows for the refund of deposits.

When asked if the company would be refunding deposits to its users, Mr Chen reportedly told TODAY that there was an “existing plan for the whole process”. He also declined to elaborate, asking that his Singapore-based team and lawyers be contacted for further information.

Mr Chen also said that it was not his personal decision to withdraw from Singapore markets. He added, “This is a company decision and from the board of directors… I’m not the chairman. I just do the execution”.

A report by the Business Times of Singapore found that oBike had been in financial trouble before its Monday announcement, with losses of more than S$4m a year.

Some of this was attributed to the fines that oBike had accumulated. Earlier this year, Senior Minister of State (Transport) Lam Pin Min said the LTA had collected about S$180,000 in fines and administrative fees, from bicycle-sharing operators last year.

Many oBike customers in Melbourne, Australia have been facing similar problems, with oBike refusing to refund deposits, and being uncontactable. Netizens have taken to social media to openly contemplate taking home oBikes to make up for their lost deposits.


obbana@theindependent.sg