Germany has become the latest market from which Chinese bike-sharing firm ofo will make an exit. The company, which has been plagued by rumors of a cash crunch over the past few months, has adjusted its overseas operations in line with its plans to focus on priority markets.
The company had placed 3000 bicycles in the German capital of Berlin. These will be transferred to other areas in Europe, according to reports. However, ofo said it had not ruled out the option of returning to the country in the future.
ofo previously announced operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, India, and France.
However, in early July, the company said in a statement that it would be focussing its attention on markets that it deemed to be priorities. The company also announced that co-founder and CEO Dai Wei would oversee its global business.
Interestingly, in June, fellow co-founder Yu Xin denied reports the company would be closing its international business following the departure of COO Zhang Yanqi. Yu also rebutted news that the company was facing a cash shortage and it had laid off 50% of its staff.
However, news of the company leaving numerous countries around the world again calls attention to the claims that the company is in financial trouble.
The bike-sharing market in China is extremely competitive, with the two biggest players—ofo and Mobike—battling for market dominance. Amid increasingly tight rules in Chinese cities which restrict the number of bicycles allowed on their streets and, at times, prohibit advertising on the bikes themselves, bike-sharing firms are finding it more and more difficult to achieve profitability.