It’s the end of an era: Shanghai’s Touchmedia, the company responsible for putting thousands of interactive advertising screens into the back of taxi cabs throughout major cities in China, has closed down.
Shanghai Daily reports former employees are claiming the company has gone bankrupt, and is currently in the process of being liquidated.
A ubiquitous sight for over a decade, a number of taxi companies have since removed Touchmedia screens from their vehicles.
Shanghai’s Haibao taxi company said it has terminated its contract with Touchmedia and has now removed the screens, while Dazhong Taxi said Touchmedia “failed to fulfill the contract since the end of last year”. Shanghai Daily reports Touchmedia’s Shanghai offices are empty, and that its registered number is no longer in service.
Touchmedia once commanded a huge part of the advertising market in China, with 22,000 of its screens installed in Shanghai taxi cabs back in 2013. In 2009, Touchmedia secured a third round of financing worth 100 million yuan ($14.6 million).
The company’s height of fame would arrive in 2011 when it sparked a national fitness craze with its “Miss Wow” in-vehicle workout routine that found a huge following among white-collar workers, reaching nearly 129 million passengers after 12 weeks.
However, times have changed over Touchmedia’s 13 year history; taxis have had to make room for ride-sharing services, while the rise of smartphones has replaced the need for a distraction like an interactive touch screen for advertisements.
It’s not quite the same as watching it the back of a cab, but for old time’s sake, here’s Touchmedia’s “Miss Wow” video: