What happened: Bike rental operator Mobike has withdrawn bikes in Manchester after one in ten of their bikes were stolen or vandalized. The customers in the city will have their deposits and credit refunded in the next few days. The bikes will be transported to other cities the company is operating in, such as London, Oxford, Cambridge, and Newcastle.
Why it’s important: Chinese bike rental giants Mobike and ofo have launched aggressive global expansion plans since the beginning of last year. But as the market cools, both of the companies choose to retrench their overseas operation. Cash-strapped ofo has pulled back from a series of overseas cities in South Korea, German, Australia, and India. Mobike withdrew from of Washington DC and Dallas in the US earlier this year. In most cases, the pull-outs were the result of the company’s operational problems. But Manchester, Mobike’s first operation outside Asia, is the first withdrawal due to exterior reasons of antisocial behavior. Other dockless bike rental firms like ofo and oBike encountered similar problems in the city.