At the end of last year, reports of Ofo Singapore’s mounting debts and abrupt staff terminations surfaced, and the bike-sharing company vacated its office in the city-state with little warning. Now, just a few days away from the Lunar New Year holidays, Ofo is said to have axed its Singapore operations team.
Over the course of this week, nine to ten Ofo staff members were told to leave the firm by the end of January. They were also notified that they will not receive the severance—equivalent to one month’s wages—guaranteed by their employment contracts, and were not given a month’s notice. No reasons were given to justify the terminations.
Ofo has been facing pressures from regulators in Singapore. The country’s Land Transport Authority has required the company to meet all requirements before February 13, or else Ofo’s license to operate in Singapore will be suspended.
The firm also owes vendors an excess of S$700,000 (US$519,000) for logistics services rendered.
Ofo has pulled out of multiple countries following an aggressive expansion beyond China. These include Australia, the United States, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. Singapore may be the company’s next setback overseas.
In China, the cash-strapped company is still struggling to meet demands for deposit refunds. As of the end of 2018, 11.7 million of Ofo’s customers in China were waiting for refunds that totaled more than RMB 1.16 billion (US$168 million).
Editor: Brady Ng