Ofo Tries to Make Ends Meet With New Designated Parking Space

An abandoned Ofo bike in the roadside bushes (Source: Shaw Wan/Pandaily)

Ofo is back, but perhaps in a different way.

According to the new regulations, the company has set up designated parking stations for the ofo shared bikes. This means that from now on, users will need to park their bikes at specific locations to avoid disordered bike piling.

According to reports, residents and reporters in Shenzhen have already experienced the new mode of bike parking. According to ofo, if users fail to return the bikes according to the rules of the platform, they will be charged a vehicle management fee of 20 yuan.

Ofo’s decision is seen as a self-rescue attempt following the company’s desperate struggles throughout the past year to stay alive. Yu Xin, the co-founder of ofo, also confirmed to the media that, “Ofo is indeed proceeding with a new mode of bike parking. It has been online in Luohu and Futian District of Shenzhen and is now going smoothly.”

SEE ALSO: What Killed ofo — The Fall of a Unicorn

As early as July 2018, complaints have surfaced on social media about users’ failure to obtain their 199 yuan refund for the deposits paid on the platform. During last winter, people have queued up in massive lines in front of ofo’s Beijing office to get their deposits back.

On Dec. 17, the company issued a refund policy, saying they would process refunds for users according to the order of refund applications. According to earlier reports, the company processed about 3,500 refunds a day, but is still struggling terribly to pay back tens of millions in line. Should things continue at the current pace, it will take years for some to get their deposits back.

The incident was met with voluminous backlash from the public. When asked which bike one would rather use between Halo, Mobike and ofo, most Chinese users replied that they’d avoid ofo because the bikes would either be broken or defective.

When trying to implement the new parking rules, some discovered that users that failed to find the right parking spot five times in a row would no longer be eligible to get their deposits back. The policy has led many to question the true intentions behind the new rules, suspecting that this is a way for the company to avoid paying back deposits to users.

When trying to implement the new parking rules, some discovered that users that fail to find the right parking spot for five times in a row will not be able to get their deposit. So does it mean the new mode is also meant to get away with paying back all the deposits?