Logo of Lime (Lime)
Lime, the world’s leading operator of rented electric scooters and bikes, said in a statement on Wednesday that it will be withdrawing its operations from South Korea on June 30.
Constant traffic law revisions and differing local government policies were named by the company as the primary reasons behind this “tentative suspension” of operations.
Lime saw a sharp drop in its customers in 2021, when a law that made wearing helmets mandatory for people riding electric scooters was put in place.
Scooter rental services have also complained about the volatility of local tow policies. Seoul said in March that it would allow a 60-minute grace period for scooters before towing but backtracked just one day later. Seoul’s tow policy shaved off 10 to 20 percent of Lime’s sales last year in towage.
Policies concerning minimum age and licenses have also been amended in 2022 amid drastic Traffic law revisions.
Changing laws make the e-scooter rental sector unpredictable, said industry insiders.
Lime made it clear that the suspension of operations was temporary, but did not give a timeline on when it would return.
“As Korea’s micro-mobility market continues to develop, we hope to be back with upgraded services and devices,” said Lime.
Meanwhile, Lime is not the first to withdraw from Korea‘s micro-mobility market. Singaporean shared electric scooter company Neuron Mobility, and German firm Wind both suspended their operations in 2021.
By Lee Seung-ku (email@example.com