Just four years ago, co-working spaces were a rarity in China. Propelled by a series of favorable policies and trends, hundreds of thousands of operators have flocked to the emerging market. Local tech media has said that there are over 2,300 co-working operators in the market as of early 2016. After this stunning growth, however, we can now see the inevitable overcapacity problem, leading to major consolidations in the market since the beginning of this year.

“Over the past years, co-working boomed, but the supply has definitely exceeded the demand. The demand is coming up but not as quickly as the supply,” said Liu Lei, founder and CEO of Sandbox, one of the few free co-working spaces in Shanghai. “Having an open community and the belief that anyone can adopt this lifestyle is how we built our demand.”

Why An Open Community?

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.