Ailing bike-sharing startup Ofo sues employees for embezzlement

The company’s anti-graft effort came amid its financial woe.

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Ailing bike-sharing startup Ofo sues employees for embezzlement

Once a China tech darling, bike-sharing platform Ofo hasn’t generated much good news in recent months. The latest debacle involves Ofo suing several employees for corruption.

An internal document seen by 36Kr, KrASIA‘s parent company, shows that the cash-strapped company has investigated eight cases in total, four of which have been accepted by the country’s judiciary authorities.

In a case cited in the document, Ofo’s Fuzhou subsidiary found out last July that a former employee had sold about 4,000 bikes which were stored in a temporary parking lot. The local police arrested that employee in February this year.

Bike-sharing is an asset-heavy industry and hence there’s a pressing need to fight asset misappropriation and corruption, Ofo’s co-founders Yu Xin told 36Kr in response to the situation. “Ever since the inception of the company, we have established a zero-tolerance principle against internal corruption.”

The company’s anti-graft effort comes amid its financial woes. In a letter sent out to its employees last December, Ofo founder Dai Wei admitted the company was under “immense cash flow pressure”. “We have to return users’ deposits, pay back our suppliers, and keep the company running. We have to turn every yuan into three,” the letter read.

Additional reporting by Yang Lin

Editor: Nadine Freischlad

Write to Luna Lin at [email protected]