Eye­ing sleepy of­fice work­ers, China’s opens nap cap­sules

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

For China’s sleep-de­prived white-col­lar work­ers need­ing a place for a nap, a boom­ing “sharing econ­omy” of­fer­ing a grow­ing range of ser­vices has come up with a cheap, mo­bile-friendly so­lu­tion: cap­sule ho­tels. With an easy phone scan, cus­tomers can book a nap in a sleek white cap­sule - de­signed to look like a space pod - for just 10 yuan ($1.50) for half an hour dur­ing the midday rush. The rate drops to only 6 yuan at other times.

“It’s re­ally meet­ing a rigid de­mand as many pro­fes­sion­als have a dif­fi­cult time find­ing a nice pri­vate place to nap,” said Han Yue, op­er­a­tions man­ager at Xiang­shui Space, a Beijing-based startup which launched the ser­vices in Beijing in May and has since opened up in Shang­hai and Chengdu. Han said her cap­sules were dif­fer­ent to Ja­pan’s cap­sule ho­tels, be­cause she was tar­get­ing a dif­fer­ent type of cus­tomer, those look­ing for a quick nap, not a full night of sleep.

The com­pany plans to ex­tend to cities such as Qing­dao, Nan­jing and Shen­zhen by the end of July or early Au­gust, she said.

China’s rapidly ex­pand­ing “sharing econ­omy”, ex­em­pli­fied by the suc­cess of bike-sharing com­pa­nies such as Mo­bike and Ofo, has in­spired a wave of “sharing” en­ter­prises backed by a fund­ing frenzy pow­ered by so-called an­gel in­vestors and ven­ture cap­i­tal firms.

China’s “sharing econ­omy” is ex­pected to grow about 40 per­cent this year to 4.83 tril­lion yuan ($705 bil­lion). By 2020, it could ac­count for a tenth of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. — AP

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