Mobike pulls out of Newcastle & Gateshead

Bike-share operator, Mobike, has confirmed that it will be suspending its Newcastle and Gateshead service in May, in a bid to ‘increase the sustainability of its UK business.

The firm, which pulled its services out of Manchester in September, will continue to operate the scheme in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Mobike introduced its bike-sharing scheme to the area back in 2017. The decision to scrap the scheme comes after concerns over vandalism, with bikes seen dumped in the River Tyne and elsewhere. Users will be refunded during May.

Mobike general manager Jan Van der Ven said the company “enjoyed” operating in Newcastle and Gateshead, and that it was “hopefully not a final farewell.”

The Chinese firm announced in March  that it will pull out of its foreign markets after laying off operations across the Asia-Pacific region. A Mobike spokesperson said 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. According to Meituan’s latest financial report, Mobike has lost 4.55 billion yuan, around £520 million, since the buy out.

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Hayley Everett

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