June 23, 2017

In China, Umbrellas and Basketballs Join the Sharing Economy



China satellite
By NASA (NASA Worldwind) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

China may be oversharing.

First, a brutal and costly ride-hailing war drove Uber out of the country. Then a boom in bike-sharing blanketed city streets with unused bicycles .

Today, Chinese start-ups want to share umbrellas, concrete mixers and mobile phone power banks. One wants to share basketballs.

As Chinese entrepreneurs and investors pile in, some skeptical industry insiders are wondering: Has China reached “peak sharing?”

“After all these years, China is finally embracing its communist roots,” said Andy Tian, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Asia Innovations Group in Beijing. “That’s the essence of communism: communal sharing.”

“But there’s no question that it’s a bubble,” he added. “It may have roots in something valuable, but can you really share everything?”Chinese entrepreneurs like Xu Min think that, quite possibly, you can. In March, the 30-year-old serial entrepreneur from Jiaxing, a town in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, came up with the idea of a basketball-sharing service after he heard some friends complain about the inconvenience of carrying a ball around.Just four days later, Mr. Xu set up Zhulegeqiu, which in Chinese is a pun that roughly means “Rent a Ball.” It lets users rent basketballs from custom-designed automated lockers at basketball courts […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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