Amid rumors of ofo’s acquisition by Didi Chuxing, the former’s bicycles are no longer accessible in Beijing within Didi’s app.

According to the local media, an error is displayed within the app when scanning an ofo bicycle’s QR code. The message says that the problem has been partially repaired, but Didi cannot resolve it entirely without ofo. TechNode verified the inability to access the company’s bicycles and found it to be true. However, ofo is currently still listed as a bike rental partner in Didi’s app.

An error is displayed when attempting to rent ofo bicycles in Beijing within Didi’s app (Image Credit: TechNode)

The lack of access to ofo bicycles on Didi’s platform comes at a curious time. Didi is rumored to be closing a deal to acquire the bike rental company, with the two parties still negotiating a price. ofo is said to be valued at around $1.5 billion—almost half the price of Mobike.

Nonetheless, both companies have repeatedly denied the planned acquisition. Yesterday (July 30), ofo released a statement reiterating its stance on the news of its sale. “As a top and the only major independent bike-rental company, ofo pioneered the growth of the bike-rental industry. We will continue to serve the users and contribute our efforts to solve traffic congestion and air pollution problems in cities,” the company said. However, ofo has been retreating from a significant number of international markets, raising questions about its cash situation. The company says its scale backs and exits from Germany, the US, parts of the UK, the Middle East, Spain, India, and Australia are part of a new focus on “priority markets” that will help the company reach profitability. The company responded to reports of its cash crunch by calling them “smear campaigns” and sending lawyers letters to the media companies involved. ofo said the reports amounted to defamation and malicious slander. In addition, Yu Xin, the company’s co-founder, and CEO denied claims that it was in the process laying off 50% of its staff. In an attempt to boost profit, the company began selling advertising on its bicycles and within its app in May. However, this was later blocked by numerous local governments around China. In addition, rival bike rental firm Mobike has done away with deposits for all users in China, creating a greater incentive for use.Original Article

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