Mobike scraps operations in APAC & confirms it will close foreign markets

Parent company of Mobike, Meituan, has confirmed that the Chinese bike-share company will pull out of its foreign markets, after laying off operations across the Asia-Pacific region last week.

Mobike announced its operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Australia will be terminated, with the company deciding to focus on its home market in China.

However, a Mobike spokesperson told TechCrunch that while the company will be shutting down, “in some markets, particularly in certain Asia countries, international operations will continue in North-East Asia, Latin America and Europe.” The spokesperson added that the bike-share operator is “continuing discussions” to maintain its international business.

Mobike was acquired by tech start-up Meituan in April last year, in a sale worth $2.7 billion. It is thought that the company is phasing out its international operations in an attempt to save costs. According to Meituan’s latest financial report, Mobike has lost 4.55 billion yuan, around £520 million, since the buy out.

During the acquisition, Xing Wang, Meituan CEO and founder, seemed positive about broadening the bike-share’s international operations: “Mobike is not only a pioneer of the smart bike-sharing sector but they are also extending their successful model of Chinese innovation to the overseas markets. We have confidence in Mobike’s growth potential and the future of smart commute, and will fully support Mobike’s continued efforts in technology innovation to bring quality products and services to customers.”

It seems that Mobike isn’t alone in ramping down its foreign markets, as earlier this year fellow Chinese bike-share firm, Ofo, announced it had pulled out of all overseas operations, including London. CIN reported in July last year that Ofo had started to scale back its overseas operations as part of a significant restructuring. Nearly all of its UK staff were understood to have been made redundant with the firm employing 60 staff in the UK at its peak.

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Hayley Everett

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