INSIGHTS | Will co-working survive WeWork?

6 min read
(Image credit: TechNode/Jiayi Shi)

This article was co-authored by Emma Lee.

When WeWork started in 2010, it was one of the first players in co-working spaces. It helped to define the industry, becoming nearly synonymous with it. 

The co-working office model exploded not only in the west, but soon took over China as well. Office spaces popped up everywhere in China’s first-tier cities. When WeWork officially entered China in 2017, it faced fierce competition from its China counterparts including Ucommune (UCommune is an investor in TechNode), Kr Space, and MyDreamPlus.

However, WeWork faced an essential problem: it isn’t a tech company. Real estate is a traditional business, in which high adoption rates aren’t a substitute for viable per-unit costs. Nearly a decade later, WeWork finds itself on the brink of bankruptcy after its initial public offering failed miserably.

WeWork’s quick rise and fall serves as a cautionary tale for investors

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