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Dai Wei (middle) and the four Ofo co-founders riding their bright-yellow bicycles. ©Ofo

Dai Wei (middle) and the four Ofo co-founders riding their bright-yellow bicycles. ©Ofo

How the college student who founded a global bike-sharing sensation also led it to the verge of bankruptcy through a string of mistakes


At its peak, Ofo, the bike-sharing app from Beijing, was operating in over 250 cities across 21 countries, and used by some 200 million people. Today, the four-year-old startup, whose valuation reached nearly US$3 billion, is on the brink of bankruptcy. 
Over 13 million irate users in China have been demanding the refund of their RMB 99–199 deposits since December 2018, sparking a cash-flow crisis at a company already struggling to finance a long-drawn price war as rivals flooded the market. Around the same time, its founder and CEO Dai Wei also found himself on an official...

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