Bikes, bikes, and more bikes. China’s streets have been invaded by bike rentals of every hue. More and more Chinese entrepreneurs are sparing no effort to jump on the sharing bandwagon.

Now, when you walk around the streets or hang around shopping malls, there’s a high chance that you’ll come across a slew of shared items—bikes, cars, umbrellas, basketballs, power banks, karaoke booths, washing machines, nap capsules, massage chairs and, oh yes, refrigerators. The sharing economy fad has taken China by storm over the past year, and people in the business are making everything “shareable.”

However, it’s not really sharing… it’s more or less rental businesses. Users rent these items for a short period of time at a low and affordable price. For instance, the bike-rental startup Mobike charges users RMB 1 for a single half-hour ride. Also, most of the power bank rental startups charge nothing for the first hour of rental, and charge RMB 1 per hour or so after that. This is nothing like the ride-hailing business where people use their private car to ferry around passengers; these are companies exchanging use of their assets for money.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Timmy Shen

Timmy Shen is a technology reporter based in Beijing. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. Send tips and feedback to timmyshen@technode.com or follow him on twitter at...