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China: Around The Nation

Chinese students run booming snack business out of college dorm

Younger entrepreneurs bank US$700 a month serving up pot noodles and peanuts to their peckish pals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 March, 2018, 12:27pm

It might be a while before Amazon or eBay has anything to worry about, but an online delivery service set up by a small group of students at a college in southeastern China is doing a roaring trade in nibbles and snacks.

The four male friends are all enrolled at the Quanzhou Arts and Crafts Vocational College in Fujian province, and run the business as a sideline to their studies, Pearvideo.com reported on Sunday.

While the geographical scope of the operation is modest – the young men run it from their bedrooms and deliver only to dormitories within the college grounds – it has become a big hit with their fellow students.

The team handles between 50 and 80 orders a day, and banks a monthly profit of about 5,000 yuan (US$790), the report said.

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In a video shown on the website, one of the young entrepreneurs is seen picking items from rows of makeshift shelving in his compact dorm room – it measures just 10 square metres (108 square feet) – and putting them into a plastic bag for delivery.

Among the items on offer are crisps and other snacks, assorted pot noodles and a wide range of drinks. Delivery usually takes between five and eight minutes, the unnamed spokesman said.

The report did not say how long the business has been in operation, or explain – in light of the product-filled bedrooms – where its owners sleep at night.

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Despite the popularity of the service, a cynical, or possibly just sarcastic, social media user questioned the quartet’s rights offer it.

“I wonder if they have a business licence,” the person said.

Another was concerned about the impact running a small business might have on the students’ course work.

“Do they have time to study?” the person asked.