Chinese bike sharing company Wukong Bikes shut down after 90% of its bikes went missing. The bikes were either lost or stolen within the first five months of going into business! The bike sharing industry is one of the most thriving businesses in the country. Based in Chongqing, Wukong Bikes revealed that about 1,200 of their two-wheelers were either lost or stolen.
The firm had not installed GPS systems in their bikes like the rivals do, but by the time they realized the need for it, the company ran out of funds. Reports say that it is the first bankruptcy reported in the thriving bike sharing industry. Some of the tech giants in China in recent times have been funding in the bike hire business, which is also known as ‘Uber for Bikes’. The bike hiring had helped to reduce the congestion on roads.
At present Ofo and Mobike, which are supported by Alibaba and Xiaomi are the leaders in the industry. On the other hand newcomer Wukong was a small player and targeted the students in the city. The founder of the company Lei Houyi while interacting with the local media said that apart from the lack of GPS systems, their bikes were of low quality compared to those that were used by the competitors, due to which they were damaged easily.
Houyi added that initially they charged the users but then they started giving free rides to the customers so as to give a competition to the competitors in the market. In many of the cases, the bikes are fitted with GPS systems which allowed the users to locate their bikes and they pay for the service with their smartphones and unlock it. After the journey is finished, the bike can be left anywhere. This issue had proved problematic as the bikes were abandoned at remote locations and the other riders could not find them.