Recently, a subsidiary of Shanghai Junzheng Network Technology Co., Ltd., the main operator of bike-sharing company Hello Inc., was fined 40,000 yuan ($5,976) by the Hefei Municipal Administration for Market Regulation for misleading consumers in its advertisements.
The Hello Inc. subsidiary publicized words such as “Recommended by Hello Inc.’s 400 Million Users” on the walls and light boxes of the electric bicycle business department and in the manuals attached to the electric bicycles sold in stores, and considered the number of users of the Hello app as the number of recommendations for its services. The company promoted this on specific occasions, misleading consumers into believing that Hello Inc.’s electric bicycles were purchased, used, and recommended by more than 400 million people.
Hello Inc. is a local travel and lifestyle services platform established in September 2016. The company mainly provides mobile travel services and emerging local services. Its reach extends to mobile travel services (for both two-wheel sharing services and four-wheel travel services), emerging local services, such as its own brand Hello Electric Scooter, and the Xiaoha Power Swap, a joint venture with Ant Group and CATL, in addition to Hello Car Rental, a converged car rental service platform.
Hello Inc. was poised to go public in the U.S. in 2021 but shortly thereafter backed down on the listing, saying that “after careful consideration by management, it sent a statement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission requesting to withdraw its previously filed IPO application.”
Hello Inc.’s IPO prospectus shows that the revenues in 2018, 2019 and 2020 were 2,113.6 million yuan, 4,823.3 million yuan and 6,044.3 million yuan respectively. Meanwhile, the company’s losses were 2,207.5 million yuan, 1,504.6 million yuan and 1,133.5 million yuan respectively, with a cumulative loss of nearly 5 billion yuan in three years.