Tech News

Saturday, 15 July 2017 | MYT 12:00 PM

Eyeing sleepy office workers, China’s ‘sharing economy’ opens nap capsules

Inner view of a capsule bed unit is pictured at Xiangshui Space in Beijing, China. — Reuters

Inner view of a capsule bed unit is pictured at Xiangshui Space in Beijing, China. — Reuters

BEIJING: 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 (RM6.33) for half an hour during the mid-day rush.

A man uses an application to open a capsule bed unit at Xiangshui Space during lunch break in Beijing's Zhongguancun area, China July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man using an app to open a capsule bed unit at Xiangshui Space during lunch break in Beijing's Zhongguancun area, China. — Reuters

The rate drops to only 6 yuan (RM3.80) 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.

Office workers are interested in the capsule bed units at Xiangshui Space during lunch break in Beijing's Zhongguancun area, China July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Office workers interested in the capsule bed units at Xiangshui Space during lunch break in Beijing. — Reuters

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.

An IT employee takes off shoes as he prepares to sleep in a capsule bed unit at Xiangshui Space during lunch break in Beijing's Zhongguancun area, China July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An IT employee taking off his shoes while preparing to sleep in a capsule bed unit at Xiangshui Space. — Reuters

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% this year to 4.83tril yuan (RM3.05tril). By 2020, it could account for a tenth of gross domestic product. — Reuters

advertisement

Powered by

advertisement

advertisement