Shanghai – Backed by a torrent of venture capital, China has gone sharing mad with everything from treadmills to karaoke booths and napping capsules all up for short-term rent — and at the click of a smartphone. With the boom spawning some novel ideas but also warnings of a sharing “bubble” in the world’s second-largest economy, AFP lists a number of the services that have come (and gone) in China in the last 18 months.
Brightly coloured bicycles kicked off the sharing craze last year and have since threatened to take over pavements and streets. That sparked a backlash and Beijing and Shanghai are among the cities that moved to lay down regulations. At least two Chinese bike-sharing services have gone bust and it is not uncommon to see officials carting bikes off to a fate unknown.
Karaoke (“KTV”) booths are springing up in shopping centres and subways, taking China “by storm”, says state media. Thankfully they are more or less sound-proof, meaning wannabe pop stars can croon away as loud as they want, and the pods allow you to record yourself and upload your performance to your phone — so you can show off to/annoy your friends.
And others you can share in China: electric scooters, phone chargers, work spaces, umbrellas and basketballs.