Silver as an investment

Chinese Umbrella-Sharing Startup “Loses” Its 300,000 Umbrellas In Weeks

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Jul 10, 2017  9:15 PM

China has a peculiar habit of taking the latest and greatest financial innovation available, and then taking it too far. The latest example is the startup Sharing E Umbrella, which hoping to follow in the footsteps of successful bike-sharing startups, decided to – as the name implies – provide shareable imbrellas. There was just one problem: as the Shanghaiist writes only a few weeks after starting up operations in 11 cities across China, Sharing E Umbrella announced that it had lost almost all of its 300,000 umbrellas.

While the details are probably superfluous at this point, it all started with a 10 million yuan investment – arguably by a rich, if not too intelligent investor – into the Shenzhen-based company. The concept, at least in theory, was to create a “sharing” ecosystem similar to those that bike-sharing startups have used to great success. Customers use an app on their smartphone to pay a 19 yuan deposit fee for an umbrella, which costs just 50 jiao for every half hour of use. The South China Morning Post reported that company CEO Zhao Shuping said that the idea came to him after watching bike-sharing schemes take off across China, making him realize that “everything on the street can now be shared.”

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