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China's third largest bike-sharing company is about to crash

Bluegogo, which has 700,000 bicycles in China, appears to be on its last legs with employee cuts and complaints of unreturned deposits.

A lone Bluegogo bike can be seen, surrounded by its Mobike and Ofo competition on the streets of Beijing.
Aloysius Low/CNET

Bike sharing in China is about to change, as the country's third largest service appears to be on rocky grounds.

Bluegogo is reported to have funding issues and some employees in its main offices have been cut.

Reporters from Chinese publication The Paper visited an empty office in Beijing and found out that the company owed 2 million yuan ($300,000) in office rental. The company, which had raised 600 million yuan ($90 million) and has 700,000 bicycles, appears to also be unable to refund deposits, according to online chatter on China's version of Twitter, Weibo

With Bluegogo's death apparently imminent, its two larger rivals will dominate the landscape to come. Ofo, which is backed by Alibaba, and Mobike, backed by Tencent, are said to be in talks for a merger with China's Uber, Didi. This will let them raise prices as well as cut back on bikes to become profitable.

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Besides dominating China, both Ofo and Mobike have ventured to other countries in the world. They can be found in the UK (Manchester), Italy, Australia (Sydney), Singapore and the US (Seattle). Bluegogo remains rooted in China, though it did briefly launch in San Francisco.

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