Global Media

Sharing firm loses most of its 300000 umbrellas

Sharing firm loses most of its 300000 umbrellas”

An umbrella-sharing start-up announced it lost almost all its 300,000 umbrellas within three months - because people kept refusing to return the borrowed umbrellas.

Local state media website The Paper said Sharing E Umbrella, which launched a few weeks ago in 11 cities across China, had said all the umbrellas it launched with had vanished without a trace.

The company Sharing E Umbrella required a deposit of £2.20 per umbrella and charged about 6p for every half an hour of use, deducted from a minimum top-up of £1. It was unclear how users were meant to return the umbrellas, however, costing the company $8.82 for each umbrella that went unreturned.

"Umbrellas in China are generally quite cheap", said Kerry Allen, a China analyst with BBC Monitoring. "Bikes can be parked anywhere, but with an umbrella you need railings or a fence to hang it on". "We were really impressed by the bike-sharing model", Mr Zhao said.

A host of different companies have been able to take advantage of China's sharing economy craze.

The SCMP reports that Zhao concluded that the safest place for an umbrella would be at the customer's home, where it would be safe and undamaged.

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He says that he is determined for his business to be a success and will make another 30 million umbrellas available for rent across the country by the end of the year. The Chinese start-up's concept is similar to existing bicycle-sharing schemes which allow people to pay a small deposit to rent a bicycle, use it, and return it to designated cycle racks.

As Sixth Tone notes, many cities in China experience the most rain in the summer. What's worse, in regions with frequent rain, people are more likely to just buy their own umbrellas.

What's the key ingredient to an umbrella sharing business?

Manchester and Salford will be the first cities outside Asia to play host to the cycle sharing scheme as part of a trial which will last around six months, reports the Manchester Evening News.

A COMPANY which handed out 300,000 brollies under a freakish rental scheme has revealed they've almost all gone missing.

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