Ofo’s bike-sharing licence cancelled by Singapore’s transport authority

Photo: Reuters

Chinese bike-sharing startup Ofo, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has lost its licence to operate in Singapore, the Business Times reported.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) in an update on April 22 said that: “As ofo has not provided LTA with sufficient justifications on why its licence should not be cancelled, LTA cancelled ofo’s bicycle-sharing operating licence on 22 April.”

Ofo will not be able to offer dockless bike-sharing services in public spaces in Singapore without this licence.

Its licence was suspended in February this year after it failed to meet regulatory requirements, such as failing to implement a QR code-based parking system that would allow its bicycles to be parked only within specified areas.

It was later given time until March 28 to meet these requirements, as the firm had told the LTA that it was in “advanced stages of negotiation” to partner with another party to resume operations and fulfil the conditions.

Unlicensed operators can face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months, with a further fine of $500 for each day the offence continues after conviction.

Ofo had been operating in Singapore since early 2017 and once had more than 90,000 bikes deployed here, according to a former employee.

Ofo’s Singapore operations have come under pressure since local transport authorities began clamping down on bike-sharing companies.

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Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.