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What’s hot in China’s sharing economy

Updated: May 11,2017 10:50 AM

Editor’s Note: The bike-sharing industry has brought many lifestyle changes in China. But also importantly, the business has inspired entrepreneurs in other industries. From basketball to umbrella, let’s take a look at what’s hot in the booming sharing sector.


Ofo bikes are lined up outside a subway entrance in Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan province, Jan 19, 2017.

While bike-sharing is no rarity in other parts of the world, the Chinese version has given a whole new meaning to the concept, with customers able to pick a bike anywhere in the city (thanks to the GPS-enabled app) and leave it anywhere at the end of their journey.

The concept is all the rage among students and young professionals across the nation for being convenient, green and cheap. An average 30-minute ride costs 0.5 yuan ($7 cents) to one yuan.

Shared bikes have become the newest battlefield for global capital, with large amounts of investment flowing into the billing-on-time bike-rental mobile applications.


People rent Umbrellas at a metro station in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province.

Molisan, a Shanghai-based start-up, has launched umbrella-sharing services in the metro in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, and Fuzhou, East China’s Fujian province.

Customers can rent umbrellas by paying a refundable deposit and scanning a QR code.

The scheme charges a 20 yuan ($2.90) deposit payable via WeChat. The rental period is 15 days, which renters can renew for three additional days after which they will be charged a late penalty of 0.5 yuan per day.


People can find nearby charging stations through app, as well as WeChat and Alipay accounts.

Xiaodian, a phone charger start-up, recently announced a $50 million Series B financial round led by Sequoia China Capital and Banyan Capital, with Tencent as a participating investor.

People can find the company’s nearby charging stations through its app, as well as WeChat and Alipay accounts.

After scanning a QR code, users can start charging their phones. Payment is processed through WeChat Pay or Alipay.


A basketball-sharing locker is seen in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.

A company in Jiaxing, East China’s Zhejiang province, recently launched a basketball-sharing service.

The company has introduced several pilot lockers with basketballs at the city’s public and campus courts. Users can borrow and return a basketball through the company’s WeChat account after paying a 29-yuan ($4.2) deposit. One basketball costs 1.5 yuan for half an hour.

The lockers are equipped with a camera to ensure the process runs smoothly. According to the company, the lockers can also be used to store personal items.