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ofo has cleared its AXA Tower office, owes money to staff, users & vendors

Oh no.

Joshua Lee | December 27, 2018 @ 10:19 pm

It looks like another bike-sharing company is in hot water.

Office cleared, staff not paid

Less than two months after it was given a full licence to operate bike-sharing services in Singapore, ofo has apparently cleared its office at AXA Tower.

According to a report by Today, the company had moved out in end November, a month before its lease was up.

Today also revealed that ofo’s staff strength has been cut from more than a hundred last year to about 15 now.

Staff, both former and current, told Today that that company allegedly owes them about S$6,500 in unreimbursed claims.

These were claims for transport, mobile phone, warehouse tools, and team-building meals expenses over six months.

A former staff told Today that the claims were initially approved by a former country general manager. However, in November, the new acting general manager, Jack Zhou, said Beijing will not recognise the claims.

Owes over S$700,000 to vendors

ofo staff aren’t the only ones the company owes money.

Two vendors that Today spoke to said that the company owes them money that adds up to more than S$700,000.

These vendors were engaged to provide logistical services, like providing lorries to transport ofo bicycles.

One of them, SB Express, told Today that ofo owes them between S$500,000 to S$600,000 in unpaid invoices.

SB Express is also trying to recover another S$40,000 from Winning Logistics, a global logistics firm hired by ofo’s Beijing office. Winning Logistics had outsourced its Singapore operations to SB Express.

Another unnamed logistics company told the paper that it started supplying lorries to ofo in April this year until November. ofo has been owing this company about S$174,000 since September.

According to Today, the vendors are mulling over filing a report with the Police’s Commercial Affairs Department.

Not responding to users online

ofo’s Facebook page has been filled with questions by users but those in recent weeks have gone unanswered:

Problems back in China

ofo’s problems in Singapore comes on the heels of its problems in Beijing.

Earlier this month, ofo’s CEO Dai Wei told the company that it is considering shutting down the company because of “immense” cashflow problems after engaging in a price war with its rivals in China.

Dai has been blacklisted by the Chinese government for defaulting on debts. Over 12 million ofo users in China are also clamouring to get their deposits back.

Here in Singapore, ofo was one of the first bike-sharing companies to get a full licence to provide bike-sharing services.

However, within a month of receiving the licence, ofo asked the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to reduce its maximum fleet size by 60 per cent because it could not meet the financial obligations to maintain a fleet size of 25,000.

ofo S’pore reduces fleet by 60% to 10,000 bicycles due to financial constraints

Top image by Joshua Lee.

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