Chinese bike-share firm closes after 90 per cent of cycles stolen

Wukong Bicycle thought to be the first cycle-sharing scheme to shut down amid the boom in the services in China

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 11:45am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 11:55am

A bike-sharing company has shut down in China after about 90 per cent of its cycles went missing, presumed stolen, according to a news website report.

Wukong Bicycle in Chongqing announced its closure on its social media account last week.

The firm is the first bike-sharing operator to close in China amid the boom in the cycle schemes on the mainland, the news outlet Caixin reported.

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Wukong’s founder Lei Houyi said 90 per cent of its bikes were missing because the firm had failed to install GPS devices in the cycles, the news website reported.

Two of the biggest players in the market, Mobike and Ofo, launched their first batches of shared bikes in Shanghai last year.

There are now about two dozen similar firms operating bike-sharing schemes around the country.

Wukong started to launch its service five months ago, putting 1,200 bikes across Chongqing.

About half the bikes were placed in universities and colleges.

Lei was quoted by the tech news website as saying that his firm failed because it failed to provide a top quality bicycle supplier.

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Mobike and Ofo had agreements with good manufacturers, but Wukong relied on small factories producing poor quality bikes, said Lei.

Another reason for Wukong’s closure was that Chongqing is built on hills, which is not conducive to cycling, Caixin quoted Wu Dong, a professor at the school of management at Zhejiang University, as saying.