Users Decide Gold Coolqi Bike No Longer Cool, Want Deposit Back
It appears the path for Coolqi's blinged-out chrome shared bike isn't exactly paved with gold. The gilded bicycle firm recently hit a major pothole as users mobbed the head office to get their 299RMB deposits back after hearing that CEO Gao Wei Wei stepped down (below).
According to TechNode, "The company’s WeChat payments have been frozen and it is seeking the guidance and support of the government while it is talking with another company for a potential RMB 1 billion acquisition." However, Gao assures the public that Coolqi is not going bankrupt: He also said said the firm boasted 40 million RMB, which it intends to refund to users with once WeChat allows it. The company is currently furloughing workers at a rapid rate.
Debuting in November 2016, Coolqi appeared to have the Midas touch. It was the number three shared bike company after Ofo and MoBike with 1.5 million registered users and 1.4 million bikes in use across China.
It's unknown if the design or usability of the bikes had anything to do with the mass exodus; you'd think a bike with a built-in phone charger would be a hit. Perhaps they should've taken a leaf from Ofo and diversified a la the "Hoe Bike," or perhaps the "Tuhao Gold" color scheme was too Tuhao-y for the China's nouveau riche. At this, point it's all speculation. Here's hoping Coolqi's future doesn't dissipate like Leprechaun Gold in Ludo Bagman's hand.
Oh well, all the more reason to stick to Ofo.