Chongqing Zhan’guo Technology Co., Ltd, operator of Wukong Bike in the southwestern city of Chongqing, announced June 13 that it would terminate support of Wukong Bike and withdraw from the bike-sharing market from June 2017. The firm has thus become the first casualty in the bike-sharing wars.
Bike-sharing is extremely popular in China with users and investors alike, even though it is just a year old. Dozens of bike-sharing firms are now in the game, and Mobike, one of the big players, just raised US$600 million in its latest round of financing and purchased a smaller bike-sharing company, UniBike.
But not all market players are faring well, as the fate of Wukong Bike shows. The firm, a relatively minor player limited to the city of Chongqing, lasted only five months and has seen nearly 90 percent of its bikes lost or stolen, though it has promised a full refund to all investors and users within 30 days. Lei Houyi, its founder, noted that strong companies with a constant flow of capital always dominate the market and force out weaker players.