And baby makes three... now strollers are the latest trend to hit China’s sharing economy
Scheme to hire out pushchairs follows boom in ride-sharing and bike hire
In China, the road to convenience is paved by the sharing economy: first there were ride-sharing vehicles, then the bike-sharing boom, and now the debut of shared baby strollers.
A firm in Shanghai, Dimeng Xiaoche, has unveiled its first batch of around 500 strollers, with a second batch ready to go next week, the Xinmin Evening News reported on Saturday.
Users can rent the yellow-seated strollers, which have a QR code between the handlebars, by downloading the app, and going through mobile registration and real-name authentication.
There are two fee options: putting down a 99 yuan (US$15) deposit and paying one yuan for every half-hour of use, or forgoing the deposit and paying two yuan per half-hour.
The stroller-sharing app was developed by DiMeng (Shanghai) Network Technology and released on August 17, according to its description in Apple’s app store.
The first batch of strollers were placed around Century Park in Shanghai, located mainly near the entrances of residential compounds, parks, malls, markets, and subway exits, according to the company’s head of operations, a man identified by his surname Wang.
In the first few hours of its launch, there were already around 100 people registered on the app, with half of them trying out the service, he said.
After assessing the success of the first batch of strollers, the location for the second batch will be decided.
“A lot of parents and elderly people will find it troublesome to bring a stroller out with them, reducing the number of times they leave the house with their children or even leading them to leave the kids at home,” Wang was quoted as saying. “We invested in these strollers to make it more convenient for them to bring their kids outside.
“For example, if grandparents want to go grocery shopping, they can rent a stroller from outside their residential compound, push it to the market, and push it back once they are done, reducing the effort needed.”
A security guard at Century Park was quoted in the report saying they had seen a handful of parents testing out the shared strollers, which appeared similar to ones normally seen in the park.
Parents also told the Xinmin Evening News that they would give the strollers a try, as long as they were of good quality and could assure its safety.
Wang said the shared strollers were modelled on the wildly popular shared bike scheme, which has seen millions of new bicycles being rented across China.
Addressing concerns with shared bicycles such as theft and illegal parking, Wang said: “Adults using shared bicycles may lack moral constraints, but we hope that parents would want to be good role models for their children, and would not park the strollers everywhere, using them in a civilised way.”