CHINA / SOCIETY
Debt-ridden ofo entices users to add credit, invite friends to have deposit back
Published: Nov 21, 2021 06:00 PM
A phone displays the ofo mobile app in front of a shared-bike in London, where ofo launched its bike-sharing service in 2017. Photo: IC

A phone displays the ofo mobile app in front of a shared-bike in London, where ofo launched its bike-sharing service in 2017. Photo: IC



 


The debt-ridden bike-sharing platform ofo reportedly asked users to add credit or invite more friends to use the app in order to get the deposit back without waiting in line.

"Get 2.5-yuan deposit back by adding more credit." "The more friends you invite, the quicker deposit can flow back to your account." Such advertisements have triggered widespread controversy among Chinese who had a hard time retrieving their deposit back from the ofo. 

Some said this reminded them of some of the tricks ofo played in 2019. The debt-ridden company had told users that they could get back part of the deposit without waiting in line if they shopped on platforms recommended by the ofo app.

"Getting deposit back is the lawful right of users! I won't give ofo a second chance to defraud my friends," said one netizen on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform where the hashtag "ofo returning deposit" has become a hot topic with more that 74 million views and comments as of press time.

The period from 2015 to 2018 has seen the rise and fall of this bike-sharing platform, with its affiliated companies listed as the defaulted executor by the court several times since 2018.

Over 16 million users are still waiting in line for the return of deposit, which ranges from 99 yuan (15.5 US dollar) to 199 yuan (31 US dollar). 

Global Times
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