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Sharing Economy in Full Swing

China Today,September 13, 2017 Adjust font size:

 New Trend Amongst Young People

It is not a new trend to rent a formal dress online. However, now people can rent fashionable clothes for everyday use as more and more fashion rental services have emerged, such as yi,,, and All of them are competing to meet demand and lead the trend.

By paying a membership fee ranging from RMB 399 to 499, clients can rent three items of clothing at one time and as many times as they want per month. These platforms target office ladies in first-tier cities by providing fashionable and high-end brand clothes. Meanwhile, to convince people that all the clothes are clean, the platforms choose to cooperate with professional laundry services and even establish their own laundry centers.

Today, many young people like shopping online via large websites such as Taobao, and they are also fans of Xianyu, which is a second-hand online market under Taobao. It was established in 2014, and offers swapping, selling and buying second-hand products, apartment renting, auctions, and the sharing of knowledge and skills. One of the reasons behind the sharing economy in the U.S. was that people owned too many things and the demand for leasing unused things made the sharing economy possible. Now the problem of owning more than they need also perplexes many young Chinese people.

In 2016, over 200 million users used Xianyu. During graduation season, Xianyu organized flea markets in 117 colleges and universities around the country, making it convenient for graduates to sell what they no longer needed. Flea markets are very popular among students.

On March 29, CBNData, a commercial data company affiliated with Alibaba and Xianyu jointly released a report on the consumption of the sharing economy among the post-1990s generation, which showed that the number of users aged from 16 to 27 years old on Xianyu accounts for about 55 percent of the total. That means the post-1990s generation has become the main force for boosting the sharing economy.

These young people not only swap their personal items such as collections related to movie stars or singers, but also create their own living style and pattern of consumption. For example, some earn money by utilizing their spare time and skills. The services they provide cover all sorts of things, like morning wake up calls, tarot card readings, and playing online games.

A shared workspace has now become the new model when establishing an office. The famous WeWork company was founded in New York, with its estimated value exceeding US $10 billion. Its 54 shared workspaces are scattered in major cities across the U.S. It has also expanded its business to other parts of the world.

Since 2014, the Chinese government has encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship, more and more start-ups have emerged, bringing a huge demand for workspace. The People Square (P2) Company is the first domestic company to provide this service. Now it has 15 workspaces in Beijing and Shanghai. During peak season, a newly established workspace is full within just two or three months. The model of working together is not just about sharing the rent, but about sharing resources. In a shared workspace, different companies can solve their problems or meet their needs by utilizing the same infrastructure and technicians. They can support each other when organizing offline activities. A brainstorming meeting for one company may give inspiration to another company or may lead to the creation of a start-up project.

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