Mobike has followed through with its threat to pull its fleet of hire bikes out of Manchester, and is now returning the deposits and account credit of local users and shipping the bikes out to other spots around the UK.
The company's UK boss said back in August that it would pull out of the city unless elements of its population stopped being so mean to its little orange bicycles; but that hasn't happened. Mobike UK's Jan Van der Ven has now initiated a full retreat and withdrawal from the north-western front, saying: "We are very grateful to the city of Manchester to have been the first city in Europe to welcome Mobike. However, after careful evaluation, we have decided to remove our bikes and refund our users. As a private company, we have a duty to ensure our revenues cover our costs since unlike some operators we do not use taxpayer money to help balance our books. Unfortunately the circumstances in Manchester have not made this possible."
Those circumstances being a bit too much vandalism of the bikes, with Mobike previously claiming that around 10 per cent of its Manchester fleet was taken out of service each month due to damage or theft. And even China can't make them cheap enough to stem those sorts of losses. [Mobike via Guardian]