February 8, 2018 / 2:02 AM / a year ago

China bike sharing firm No.1 Bicycle shutters after six months

FILE PHOTO: Bicycles of various bike-sharing services are seen in Shanghai, China, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese bike sharing firm No.1 Bicycle said on Wednesday that it will halt service immediately after operating for just six months.

The swift demise of the Beijing-based firm is the latest casualty in China’s bike sharing bubble that is seeing increasing numbers of firms going under, leaving consumers without the means to retrieve their deposits.

The country has seen a wave of shared bicycles hit its city streets over the last year causing waste concerns as mountains of misshapen bikes pile up leaving eyesores across China.

In November, the chief executive of Bluegogo said in a public letter posted online he had “made mistakes” and the firm was winding up. He apologised to investors, partners and 20 million registered users of the company’s 600,000 bikes.

No. 1 Bicycle said on its website that it was shutting due to changes in its operating direction and did not say how it will deal with the left over bikes.

It said it would be refunding deposits up until Feb. 12.

The firm has registered capital of 5 million yuan (£574,645), according to official filings.

In January, Chinese ride-hailing application Didi Chuxing said it would launch a bike-sharing platform within its app that will host partner firms such as Ofo as well as its own bike-sharing brand.

Reporting by Aly Song and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Michael Perry

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