The tumultuous bike-sharing startup Ofo reportedly has laid off nine or 10 people from its Singapore operations team right before the Chinese New Year holidays, as reported by TODAY.
The move comes right amidst stories of the piling debt owed to vendors. The numbers suggest it owes SG$700,000 (US$519,000) in logistic services.
According to sources that have knowledge of the layoffs, some employees were contacted over the phone and told that January 31 would be their last working day. They were not given motivation or any of the one-month compensation offer as stated in their contract. They will only receive their last salary for January.
One of the employees being laid off spoke TODAY and shared that Jack Zhou, General Manager of Ofo called him and let him go with no specific details of what will happen to the company. No argument ensued.
Another laid off staff member also shared the same experience and said that it’s part of the risk working in startup, especially one that has been getting negative coverage like Ofo.
Two weeks ago, the LTA (Land Transport Authority) issued an ultimatum to Ofo, warning the firm to cut down its fleet to the maximum size of 10,000 and set up a QR-code parking system by Feb 13 as part of regulatory requirements, or its license could be suspended.
Ofo’s Managing Director Sebastian Lee has stated that a possible exit from Singapore could happen soon, although LTA confirmed it hasn’t received any filing of operation discontinuation.