Gobee’s green bikes have virtually disappeared from the streets in the past few days and its mobile phone app was inactive in the past few days. Gobee did not respond to requests for comment, but two industry sources said it had ceased operations. Some customers had been able to recoup their deposits, but on Friday the app’s account balance service was unavailable.
Last month, Gobee had pulled out of the Belgian capital Brussels and the French cities of Lille and Reims because of vandalism. Then, last week, it announced its withdrawal from Italy, saying 60 percent of its European fleet had been damaged or stolen. Gobee’s exit leaves Paris with three remaining Asian-owned operators, Singapore’s oBike, with about 1,800 grey-orange bikes, and two major Chinese firms: Ofo, with about 1,000 yellow bikes, and Mobike, with several thousand red bikes. The Asian operators, whose bikes can be parked anywhere after use, have jumped into the market while Paris switches operators for its pioneering Velib scheme.
However, in China at least, the business model for bike sharing appears to be in some trouble, as large numbers of firms go under, leaving mountains of misshapen bikes piling up on streets.
In France, the quality of the bikes appears to be an issue.
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