Sharing an umbrella — A #Chinese #Sharing #Economy #Story

Today the rage is sharing. Sharing a cab Uber, Ola (in India), Airbnb etc., In India sharing business is just getting to the mainstream. Why buy a car when I can share a ride using Uber or Ola which is cheaper?

We are very much behind our big brother neighbor China. There, sharing economy is at peak. Right from a cab, house to a mobile charger for a low cost you can get a lot on a sharing basis.

So, entrepreneurs in China are now starting companies, that can share most of the commonly used items like an umbrella.

Yes, umbrella. A Chinese sharing start-up created an app and for 19 yuan’s you can get an umbrella. You do not need to own an umbrella anymore.

Sounds enticing, right?

But there is an issue. A big issue. This start-up has lost 300000 umbrellas so far. It means, folks who paid 19 yuan to get an umbrella did not return it.

This doesn’t deter this company as it plans to introduce 30 million umbrellas before this year end.

They are not alone.

As Sixth Tone reports, in the craze of sharing economy there are 14 such umbrella sharing companies that are facing the heat.

Every company is losing out on their umbrellas as those who get it, never return it.

Unfortunately, in the gold rush, no one is thinking about one point. Giving is fine, you somehow put your umbrella in the hands of people, but how do you get it back? It seems no one has thought about that.

This same thing is happening for the bike sharing companies also. Misusing bikes, dumping them in unwanted places, very low rent is hurting them, if this is not enough, bike theft is a major problem and has forced Wukong a bike sharing start-up to close its shop within 6 months of inception.

This is like the dot com boom, every day a new website opened its shop with a fanfare, and without having a solid business model, in a short period of time, burned out cash flow, closed its shop.

The Same thing is happening in China’s sharing boom. There are many companies like Mobike are doing well, for one company that is doing well, ten goes down to their start-up graveyard.

Umbrella sharing companies are also going the same direction unless they discover a way for people to return, or track their millions of shared umbrellas.