Bike-sharing company Mobike has shuttered its Asia Pacific operations and laid off staff across its offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Australia.
According to TechCrunch, more than 15 full-time employees and many more contractors and third-party agency staff were let go. The tech website reported that employees were taken aback as they had been under the impression that Mobike’s prospects were bright and there had not been issues with salaries or other financial concerns.
Mobike’s largest market outside China is in Singapore, where bike-sharing companies are governed strictly by the country’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and are required to file an exit plan before they wind up their business.
The company has allegedly not informed the LTA of its layoff plans, even though it is said to be in talks with LTA regarding a potential shutdown. It also told employees to keep news of the job cuts private before it announces them officially to the LTA.
The LTA previously suspended another Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo operating license in February after it failed to ensure bicycles were parked within designated areas by using a QR-code system. Ofo had also failed to reduce its bicycle fleet to the stipulated maximum size of 10,000 despite multiple warnings.
However, LTA's decision failed to have any effect on Ofo as it had closed its office and terminated all its employees in Singapore abruptly by the end of January. It also owes its vendors in Singapore more than S$700,000 for their services.