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Rent-an-Umbrella

So, the ingenuity of the Chinese to, in particular, find ways to share things is over the top. At least they’re not yet sharing the same tapioca bubble in their bubble tea. Well, maybe they are, but I just haven’t heard about that one yet. But here’s one sharing service that I never expected to see (not even in China). We’ve already discussed the miniature gyms all over Beijing, but have you ever heard of an umbrella rental company? This startup has brought yet another revolutionary service among the people of China, which I’m assuming are hard to impress with all the innovations coming their way. However, the future of this company is uncertain due to a significant setback.

Since there are no penalties for an unreturned umbrella, many citizens took advantage of this fact and never returned the umbrella they rented. However, the lack of responsibility in users didn’t kill the Sharing E Umbrella’s enthusiasm. According to The Guardian, they’re about to provide 30 million umbrellas in various cities all over the country, and they have no intention of calling the project off. Who would’ve thought that so many people in China ignore the weather forecast?

There are no penalties, but there is a deposit required: £2.20 per umbrella. Considering the fact that this special umbrella contains a GPS, and that, because of the technology addition, it costs the company about £6.85, we can understand the setback and the loss of stocks in just 3 months. Here’s how it works: you need your smartphone to scan a code (just like with pretty much anything else in China), and then you’ll receive a code you’ll use to activate the umbrella since there’s a combination lock in the handle.

The founder says he was inspired by a similar rent-a-bike service in China, which has also been a target of reckless users.

Source: The Guardian

Image source: DailyDot