People won't stop stealing this company's rentable umbrellas

People won't stop stealing this company's rentable umbrellas”

This is why we can't have nice things: a China-based umbrella sharing startup has admitted it's lost nearly all the 300,000 brollies it launched with, according to reports. Sharing E Umbrella announced on Monday that they had lost almost all of their umbrellas after launching earlier this year.

The company operates like China's many bike shares, with customers paying a RMB19 deposit, and an additional RMB0.5 per 30 minutes of use.

Each brolly costs the firm 60 yuan to replace, but it is undeterred - 30 million new umbrellas will be introduced to the scheme, it has said.

Sharing E Umbrella hoped to tap into the growing rental market joining e-bikes however many of its umbrellas have not been returned.

"Umbrellas are different from bicycles", said Zhao. "Bikes can be parked anywhere, but with an umbrella you need railings or a fence to hang it on". Bicycle and auto sharing companies have been a success in most countries but the umbrella idea hasn't been bad either, with thousands of umbrellas being rented since April.

It's a story that reminds us of Wukong Bicycles and 3Vbike, two bike-sharing companies who also lost all their bicycles.

While sharing economy platforms have exploded in popularity across China, it hasn't all been smooth sailing.

The problems with the service are said to revolve around challenges when it comes to customers actually returning the umbrellas.

The South China Morning Post reports that Zhao concluded that it was best for users to take the umbrellas home at the end of their day. If at first you don't succeed. So, most people simply ended up holding on to them. I later thought of sharing umbrellas'.

Last month, a bicycle loan company had to close after 90 per cent of its bikes were stolen. Well, perhaps not everything, as nearly all of the company's 300,000 umbrellas went missing.

Sixth Tone points out that Sharing E Umbrella, along with its 14 other competitors in the umbrella-sharing industry, might face even more problems as the weeks turn into months.

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