Ofo moves its Beijing headquarters in midst of cash crunch | Digital Asia
Digital Asia News Update
In late September, news leaked that Ofo workers had deserted en masse their Beijing office, which once hosted the likes of Sina and Baidu. The bike-rental company responded afterward that their rental term had expired, but that employees were still working as usual. Now, local media has confirmed that ofo’s Beijing operations have moved to a nearby location.
Yesterday, Beijing News reported that a fifth-floor sign for “ofo little yellow bikes”(“ofo小黄车”) was posted at the new spot, the Internet Finance building. According to a Caijing report earlier that day, employees began packing up to move last Friday. On a visit, two floors of the old office space appeared to be empty of workers. After Ofo’s rental contract expired, employees were reportedly moved to another two floors in the same building before being shifted to the new location.
According to Caijing, the current site of Ofo’s headquarters previously housed the company’s overseas operations and the Beijing branch.
Ofo has had a hard time in recent months. In November, ofo denied that it was preparing bankruptcy reorganization plans, saying that it would pursue legal action against defamation. In addition, ofo has faced reports of mass layoffs and being unable to pay its employees, both of which it has also denied. In late October, however, the cash-strapped company did acknowledge that its founder and CEO Da Wei was stepping down from the position of the legal representative as lawsuits from unpaid suppliers increase.
Despite its money problems, bike-rental and ride-hailing startup Hello TransTech has confirmed that it’s considering acquiring the yellow bike company. The deal could be a boon for Ofo, which has withdrawn from its overseas ambitions over recent months.
Ofo’s biggest rival, Mobike, was acquired by food-delivery platform Meituan-Dianping for $2.7 billion this past spring, bolstering the startup’s prospects in a highly competitive field.