Handy phones parent Tink Labs wound down

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 23 August 2019

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Hong Kong: Tink Labs, which makes and supplies Handy smartphones to serviced apartments and hotel operators, has terminated its services in several markets following the cessation of operations.

The Hong Kong-based informed customers in certain markets that it will no longer be providing its Handy smartphone services and that mobile services to the handsets will be terminated within hours.

At one point the company had its devices in more than 82 countries and 600,000 hotel rooms. Its serviced apartment clients included Supercity, the Cheval Collection, the Edinburgh Collection and Mansley.

Established in 2012, Tink Labs was founded by its chief executive, Terence Kwok, and attracted investors including Lee Kai-fu’s Sinovation Ventures, Meitu founder and chairman Cai Wensheng and Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile. Since its inception, it has raised US$160 million in funding from investors.

The company previously announced to employees internally on July 11 that certain markets, such as China, Denmark, Indonesia, Philippines and South Africa, among others, will cease to have Handy services.

“We recently wrote to notify you that, due to operational changes, Tink Labs will no longer be supplying or servicing Handy smartphone devices in your geography,” read the email sent out to Thailand and Moroccan hotel clients. “We can now confirm that cellular service to these devices will be terminated over the next 6-12 hours.”

Hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore were informed that their contracts with Tink Labs were being reassigned to a separate entity, Blockone Limited, and that in the process of transferring the responsibility, “cellular connectivity will cease being provided over the next 12 hours”.

The new entity, Blockone, will also cease to provide its Handy devices to certain hotels in Hong Kong for free.

In early July, Tink Labs informed employees that operations would cease August 1, according to multiple sources who asked not to be named as the information is private. In a global conference call across offices on July 2, Kwok informed employees that as the company split into two different entities as part of a restructuring, and that all employment contracts would cease at the end of July.

More than 100 Tink Lab employees across its offices in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) did not receive their salaries for July.

 

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