However, from the beginning of this year, the bad news about ofo came one after another. First, ofo withdrew from many overseas markets, and frequently exposed the tight capital chain, arrears of Phoenix bicycle payments of 68.15 million yuan, evacuation of office space, two-thirds of the annual layoffs, and even news spread that ofo mortgaged bicycles to Alibaba as assets in order to pay employees.
Until now, ofo has come to a situation where even the deposit can not be refunded.
Is it swollen?
Is ofo completely cool?
In recent months, the rumors of deposit refund difficulties among ofo users have never stopped. Either the refund button can not be found, or the customer service phone has been unanswered for a long time, or the refund time is too long.
Until recently, this kind of deposit withdrawal tide not only did not recede, but also showed an explosive growth. Hundreds of people queued up in Beijing headquarters of ofo to withdraw the deposit.
On December 17, ofos official microblog responded to the deposit refund incident:
It is understood that on the afternoon of December 19, the founder and CEO of ofo Dai Wei also issued an internal letter, saying that only if ofo is alive, can it have hope, will not evade responsibility, and will be responsible for every user of ofo and every penny owed.
Although ofo promises to handle the issue of deposit refund, many users are still worried that the deposit will not be returned.
On the afternoon of December 19, a reporter from Legal Daily came to Zhongguancun Internet Financial Center, where ofo headquarters is located, and saw more than 100 people queuing for deposit refund, and several self-service refund processes were placed in front of the building. Staff at the scene issued mobile phone refund instructions, saying that the site is also a sweep code row number, without any privileges.
Mr. Wang told reporters that he had arrived at 11 a.m. and had been queuing for three hours. The deposit I want to refund is 199 yuan. Last week, when I came to the scene, the Office Staff promised to be able to pay the bill within three working days, but it was late. I used my mobile phone to refund the money and showed that there were more than 9 million people in the queue, which would make it possible for the monkeys to return in years and months?
More than 100 people in front of ofo headquarters queue for deposit refund
Users operate refunds with mobile phones according to the refund process
Self-help application process for ofo issuance
On the 19th, reporters tried to return ofos 99 yuan deposit online by mobile phone. The Wechat applet showed that it was not supported to download and use ofo Xiaohuang car APP.
Reporters also log on to ofo APP, and choose the refund deposit again. The page shows that since December 18, 2018, if a refund needs to be verified and queued up for refund, it is necessary to enter the name and Alipay account. Compared with the second deposit, the refund of the deposit is a lot of trouble.
Subsequently, the reporter saw that he had queued up to more than 10 million people.
Some netizens make fun of it, which may be the longest queue in our life.
Besides, its not cold this winter. After all, 10 million people are crowded together.
When the reporter asked why not refund the deposit according to the original payment method, the staff said that there were too many users who had recently refunded the deposit. They were afraid of missing the original refund. They also said that it was a process specially developed for the refund of deposit, which took only 40 minutes.
Reporters again asked why the development of app is so fast, refund can not be so fast, the staff said that the deposit is regulated by the government, can not want to return, and said that the company is functioning normally, ofo did not go bankrupt or fail, the number changes every day, will move forward to prove that the people in front of the refund, since we open the mobile phone refund channel is our sincerity, if you have already. When it comes to queuing, wait patiently.
In 2014, the deposit of ofo was 99 yuan at the earliest time of its establishment. Since June 2017, the deposit of ofo has risen to 199 yuan. If calculated at 99 yuan, ofo needs to refund nearly 1 billion yuan of users deposit. If calculated at 199 yuan per person, ofo needs to refund more than 2 billion yuan of users deposit. In November 2017, ofo founder Dai Wei said that users had exceeded 200 million, so the number of refunds may rise.
When a reporter wants to enter the floor of the ofo headquarters, he is stopped by the staff. When he expresses his identity and requests for interviews, the ofo marketing staff proposed that he should send an interview letter and outline. After the reporter issued an interview letter to ofo according to the requirements and sent the outline to ofo, after many efforts, but up to the time of publication, he was still unable to contact the relevant person in charge to answer the relevant questions.
Although there is no contact with ofos responsible person, but out of concern for netizens, the reporter of Legal Daily sorted out several issues of most concern about deposit refund, and interviewed three experts in different fields for analysis.
Question: Where on earth has our deposit gone?
Qin Xiyan: There are several possibilities for the future of ofo deposit:
First, to expand reproduction. In order to quickly occupy the market, ofo has carried out a lot of production, even overnight flooding, which is related to the large number of production contracts signed by bicycle manufacturers, which is part of the flow of the deposit.
Second, the operation and maintenance of vehicles. In order to seize market space, once ofo entered the market, it adopted a low-cost and rapid expansion mode, and occupied the market through a large number of low-cost bicycles. However, in the latter part of this barbaric expansion model, a large number of vehicles need to be maintained, including bicycle maintenance, labor costs paid for parking in designated areas, transportation costs and so on. Ofo is a combination of online and offline products, but also need to upgrade the online system, especially in the explosive growth stage of users, the system operation requirements are relatively high, the deposit of ofo users will become the platform operation and maintenance funds.
Third, the expenditure of internal management expenses. In order to increase development, ofo recruits a large number of personnel, and the expenditure on internal management costs is quite large. For example, in January 2018, the number of ofo employees is at least 3,000, and only the cost of employees is huge.
Fourth, publicity and marketing expenditure. Ofos advertising campaign is also very fierce, and it will certainly cost a lot of money in publicity and marketing.
Fifth, there may be internal fund embezzlement. Ofo once exceeded its operating capital in the financing process, which easily breeds internal asset embezzlement.
Second, why is it so difficult to refund the deposit?
Su Nuobang: There may be two reasons for the difficulty of refunding deposit. One is that the operator does not want to refund, the other is that he has no money to refund.
First, from the deposit refund procedure set up by ofo, we can see that it is easy to pay deposit, but the deposit refund procedure is much more complicated, which is actually a disguised dilemma, contrary to the spirit of honest management.
Second, objectively, enterprises are likely to have no money to refund. Simply analyse, the characteristic of sharing bicycle deposit is that a bicycle may carry many deposits, which is completely different from the traditional one-to-one deposit. For example, borrowing a book corresponds to a deposit, but a sharing bicycle can correspond to more than 20 deposits, far higher than the value of the bicycle itself, which makes the platform deposit become a means of financing.
At the same time, there is a problem in the supervision of enterprises, and there is no clear stipulation that the deposit must not be used, so enterprises will not let go of such a huge wealth, such as for the operation of enterprises, expansion of reproduction, private lending, collection of high interest, foreign investment, etc. An enterprises market operation behavior itself has huge risks, and no one can guarantee that it will only make profits without compensation. Once the business fails, it is possible to stop the whole enterprise, and the users deposit will be delayed, or simply do not return the strategy.
Zhu Wei: The main reason should be the misappropriation of funds. When the capital chain is broken, the self-owned capital is confused with the consumers deposit or advance payment. Once the problem arises in operation, the deposit can not be refunded once the capital chain is broken without financing.
It is not difficult to see from a simple analysis that the deposit refund actually represents the loss of confidence of users in enterprises, the reduction of the number of users and the decline of competitiveness. Enterprises are unwilling to easily lose the amount of users who invest huge amounts of funds to grow. However, the industries that are criticized by users are more difficult to integrate into the capital. Without funds, there is no deposit that can be refunded to users, which forms a evil. Sexual cycle.
Third, why is there a surge of deposit refund?
Zhu Wei: Credit is very important in the business process. Whether the deposit can be refunded or not is related to the credit of the enterprise. Once the event of deposit refund is exposed, the trust crisis will arise, especially the negative news of ofo, which causes users to worry, and a large number of users will appear the phenomenon of concentrated deposit refund. And ofo funds can not be quickly returned, after all, involving billions of deposits, which is not a small number for a company in the winter, the more unable to cope with the deposit rebate wave, the more will gather users who want to stop losses in time.
Su Nuobang: One of the reasons is the crisis of trust in enterprises. At the same time, I think it is also related to the development of enterprises and market rules. It is the result of market choice. To develop an enterprise, it is necessary to respect the market rules. A market does not need redundant enterprises and products. Bicycles are temporary and short-distance means of transportation. Many users are curious and fresh at first. Now sharing bicycles has prevailed for several years. Everyones fresh energy has passed, and winter has arrived. There are fewer and fewer bicyclists. We unload soft products without the need of products. The return of deposit is also a normal consumer psychology. The crisis of trust is only a catalyst. The market also needs to get rid of fanaticism and return to rationality.
Qin Xiyan: Firstly, the ofo market has a huge number of registered users. A large number of market launches and marketing promotion make the number of ofo registered users huge, once the deposit is refunded, it is also a large number of people.
Second, user trust has plummeted. Information disclosure is not timely, lack of emergency plans, deposit transfer to mutual fund platform, deposit transfer balance and other acts, resulting in a sharp drop in user trust and collective deposit refund phenomenon.
Thirdly, the improvement of consumersawareness of safeguarding their rights. The improvement of consumersawareness of safeguarding their rights urges them to advocate and act in order to safeguard their own interests.
Four questions, does the winter of sharing bicycles really come?
In recent years, sharing economy has sprung up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, and the word sharing has permeated almost every corner. Overnight, sharing bicycles have appeared in the streets and lanes all over the country. In the streets of major cities, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple bicycles of various colors, more than flooding.
The boom of the industry has led to the rapid expansion of the share bicycle market. However, the corresponding hardware and software facilities can not keep up with, services and supervision are not in place, resulting in a lot of industry chaos, parking problems, exceeding the carrying capacity of environmental facilities, high damage rate has become increasingly prominent.
In order to curb the expansion of this chaos, many cities and regions in China have announced the suspension of sharing bicycles parking. Meanwhile, some sharing bicycles have withdrawn from the market. Wukong Cycling, Cool Riding, Xiaoming, No. 1, etc. are either closed or sold out.
In February this year, at the regular briefing of the State Council, Liu Xiaoming, Vice Minister of Transport of China, in response to questions from reporters, revealed that there were 77 bicycle-sharing enterprises in China, and more than 20 of them had closed down or stopped operation.
Zhu Wei: Winter is far from here
I think the winter of sharing bicycles is far from coming, because its spring has not arrived yet. It just sprouted faster at the beginning of spring. First and second-tier cities all know that there are shared bicycles, but third, fourth and fifth-tier cities do not know what is called shared bicycles, indicating that there is still a lot of space. So I think this judgment is too arbitrary when the sharing bicycle industry enters the cold winter.
Sharing bicycles is just too much pressure in the process of competition, and they fight separately. There is no merger trend like drops. The thinking of making quick money is constantly being corrected. I think it has something to do with the mode of capital operation and the strategy of investment founders, but these do not represent the cold winter of the whole market.
Su Nuobang: Enterprises are too ugly to eat and are doomed to go far.
I think the development of shared bicycle is shrinking. Shared bicycle is a supplementary tool, not a mainstream substitute tool. It is greatly influenced by the terrain, weather and human activities, so it is not an industry suitable for the influx of excessive capital.
Moreover, many bicycle-sharing enterprises are not for the purpose of strengthening and enlarging enterprises, but for the purpose of financing circles of money and pursuing profits crazily. The original motivation of enterprise investors is not pure. It is not a pity to see piles of bicycles being wasted, because a bicycle has accumulated deposits that exceed its value by tens of times, and they have earned pockets. With such a mentality, enterprises are doomed to go not far. Its too ugly to eat.
Moreover, unlike high-tech areas, sharing bicycles is a sunset industry, but also not a necessities of life. Third and fourth-tier cities do not have huge demand like Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities. Therefore, under the saturated condition of several first-tier cities in China, it should be very difficult to develop sharing bicycles again.
Although, no enterprise has been smooth sailing in the process of development and growth, problems are not terrible, fear is taboo medical, more fear is perfunctory, no sincere solution to the problem.
After all, there are enough bubbles in the current Internet tide. If we only focus on capital operation and ignore the core business point of the enterprise, we will lose our strength and integrity and will be drowned in the market.
As the former leading representative of sharing bicycles, facing the difficult situation of deposit, do not do a good enough response, just default perfunctory, so there is no integrity, how to win the trust of users?
By the way,
Have you returned your ofo deposit? Whats the queue number?
Jurisprudence Daily Review: Sharing Economy Has Difficult Problems, What Prescription Does Government Supervision Have
Recently, the sharing bicycle company ofo Xiaohuang car has fallen into a dilemma, and users have applied for refund of the deposit. As of noon on December 19, the number of people queuing for deposit refund on ofo Xiaohuang has exceeded 11.19 million.
This scene is reminiscent of Wukongs bicycle outage and bicycle running. As early as a few years ago, the problem of sharing deposit risk in bicycle industry has been highlighted. However, owing to the earlier entry into the market and more registered users, the application for refund of deposit is more spectacular.
In fact, when the sharing bicycle industry emerged and the main deposit model was adopted, many scholars and experts worried about the security of users deposit and appealed to the government to supervise it. Regulators also began to realize the deposit risk in this industry in mid-2017. In August 2017, the Guidelines on Encouraging and Regulating the Development of Internet Rental Bicycles issued by the Ministry of Communications and other ten ministries and commissions, as well as the pilot guidance issued by Beijing and Shanghai, all explicitly require enterprises that collect deposits to open special accounts for user deposits and prepaid funds, which are deposited by banks, and strengthened by financial supervision departments to prevent and control the risk of user funds.
It can be said that the regulatory authorities have basically pinpointed the crux of the development of the industry and prescribed prescriptions. However, from the later situation, this prescription did not play a big role: whether Xiaoming bicycle, cool bicycle, or small blue bicycle, after the emergence of operating difficulties, let most consumersdeposits drift. If it was because the guidance had just been issued, and the relevant government departments had not yet had time to land the policy, then after one year, there was still a problem of deposit on ofo. What is the responsibility of the regulatory authorities?
To solve the difficult problem of deposit and effectively protect the rights and interests of consumers, the regulatory authorities should not be bystanders. Government management departments should do a good job of research and judgment in advance, and guide and standardize the market in time. It is undeniable that in the market economy environment, the market does need to play a fundamental role in the allocation of resources and encourage enterprises to eliminate the fittest through competition. But when this form of business is directly related to the social and public interests such as consumer capital security, then as a government regulatory department, it is necessary to make timely efforts to rectify the failure of the market mechanism.
At the same time, the regulatory authorities should not only focus on system construction, but also pay more attention to the implementation and implementation of laws and regulations. Taking sharing bicycles as an example, have the provisions on deposit supervision in the above guidance been reduced to a dead letter? At present, besides the basic realization of deposit-free operation mode for Mobai and Harrow bicycles, there are still deposit modes in other shared economic areas such as shared cars. Are user deposits in these areas in an absolute safe state and can realize rent-as-you-go-back-as-you-go? Judging from some news reports, the situation is not necessarily optimistic.
Of course, the new economic format will create new management problems, such as the online car-appointment industry, which involves the departments of transportation, public security, industry and telecommunications, the sharing bicycle industry because of the existence of deposits, its supervision also involves the financial sector, and the sharing accommodation involves the public security, fire protection, health management departments, so who will take the lead in the supervision of the issues related to consumer rights and interests, so-called. Will it eventually become Kowloon Water Control - nobody cares?
Furthermore, if in the traditional economic field, our regulatory authorities can learn from the advanced management experience of developed countries in the past, then in the field of Internet economy, China has become one of the countries with the largest number of Internet users and the fastest speed of Internet economic development in the world, and there are few ready-made samples for our regulatory authorities to learn from and learn from, which will also test our countrys supervision. Its time for managers to be smart.
In short, in the face of all kinds of shared economy, and even the new Internet Economic format that will continue to emerge in the future, as a government regulatory authority, it is still necessary to conduct early research and judgment. If it involves public interests and concerns the safety of public funds, then the regulatory authorities should timely give guidance and norms, especially after prescribing the right pulse, they should promptly supervise the regulated. Take it, so as to promote the healthy development of the industry, rather than allowing it to be wrapped up in capital, left a mess in the market before having to clean up the mess.
Source: Liable Editor of Legal Daily: Li Wan_B11284