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Bike-sharing companies might have to cycle out of Singapore markets due to new legislation

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After a tough fight with legislation, bike-sharing companies such as Ofo and GBike were unable to maintain the size of current operations, leading to downsizing and closures.

Bike-sharing company GBike stops operating on July 7, the same day that the new licensing regime for bike-sharing takes effect.

This closure comes after a year of operating in the bike-sharing market.

Under the new legislation, bike-sharing companies have to apply for a license, which if approved, allows them to operate for up to two years. Bike-sharing companies will also have to share data with each other on users who park indiscriminately so that bans can be imposed on repeat offenders.

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https://theindependent.sg.sg/say-goodbye-to-shared-bikes-parked-just-about-everywhere/

ofo also reportedly launched a warehouse sale, selling its brand new bicycles at S$50 at a discount of 30 per cent from cost prices.

It was reported on media website technode that a spokesperson from ofo said that the arrangement to sell the bicycles was made by local freight and logistics partners for ofo’s failure to pay for relevant freight and logistic fees.

They added, “Ofo has an ongoing business arrangement with a freight forward/logistics provider in Singapore and ofo has agreed to pay relevant fees for services. Ofo considers the actions taken by the service provider to be unduly aggressive given ofo’s ongoing dialogue with the relevant service provider. Ofo is considering its legal options but at the same time working in good faith to avoid a sale of ofo property. In ofo’s view, such a sale is being unreasonably pursued to gain leverage in completing ongoing commercial discussions. ofo looks forward to resolving the matter out of court but is reserving all of its rights in the meantime”.

The media website also reported that according to a tip, ofo has let go of half of its 60-member team in Singapore.

Channelnews Asia also reported that the price of ofo’s 60-day pass jumped 10 times from S$1.50 to S$15.

Looking at other bike-sharing companies, oBike’s terms of service, updated in March, now includes a cause that allows the company to convert its riders’ deposit to annual membership subscription.

Mobike also increased the price of its passes in March.

Whether these bike-sharing companies will survive the new legislation and stiff competition still remains unclear, with things not looking too positive.


obbana@theindependent.sg

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