A resident uses the app of Chinese bike-sharing service ofo on his smartphone to rent a bicycle on the street in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

Ofo, one of the largest bike-sharing firms in China, is combatting recent rumours of a large-scale layoff and a dramatic senior management shuffle, The Paper reported.

The rumours began spread on the Internet in June, and suggested that due to the company’s capital chain tension, it has kicked off the largest ever layoffs, with plans to cut about 50% of the employees in its headquarters.

It is also rumoured that former COO Zhang Yanqi has left the company and dissolved the overseas division headed by him.

However, Yu Xin, a co-founder of ofo, responded by saying that the rumours are nonsense, while emphasizing at the same time that there are “pushing hands” behind it.

After fierce competition in the early stages, the bike-sharing industry now sees only three major players — Mobike, ofo and Hellobike.

Among them, Mobike has been acquired by Meituan Dianping, while Hellobike has welcomed Ant Financial as its largest shareholder.

Ofo, which insists on independent development, is facing a severe test of survival, according to the report.