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China: Around The Nation

Shared folding stool service launched in Beijing – over half go missing in a day

Company latest part of the shared economy in China to see its products stolen by some customers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 12:38pm

A company has set up a shared folding stool service in Beijing, but more than half the seats went missing – presumed stolen – on the first day, according to a newspaper report.

The hired folding seat service was launched on Sunday in the capital, with more than 1,000 stools placed at bus stations and stops, the Beijing Morning Post said.

Heavy rain over the weekend meant a slow start for the business, but many of the seats were still missing by the end of the day, the article said.

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The news comes after two bike sharing firms in China shut down after many of their cycles were taken by customers. An umbrella sharing firm also reported in July that many of its brollies had gone missing.

An official at the shared seat company was quoted by the newspaper as saying that it had expected stools to disappear and this had been factored in as a cost in promoting the service.

A marketing expert told the newspaper that the seat service could not be considered a pure sharing-economy service as the stools were largely used as a way to advertise and promote other products.

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Some internet users seemed unimpressed with the service.

One commented that if users forgot to lock the folding stools after use they would be easy to steal.

Another worried about the seats littering the streets.