China's sharing craze now extends to luxury cars

BEIJING • From umbrellas and stools to nap capsules and subway KTV booths, China's sharing craze has gone into overdrive over the past year.

But the boom appears to have spawned its most unlikely commodity yet - luxury cars.

A start-up in Hangzhou recently launched its shared-luxury car service, the local news media reported.

During its promotional period, customers can rent a Nissan GT-R or a Rolls-Royce for as low as 19.90 yuan (S$4) and 49.90 yuan per hour respectively.

Normal prices will range from an hourly rate of 300 to 600 yuan.

The start-up's founder said he hoped to provide greater access to luxury cars with his service, although some residents expressed concerns that the price was too high.

During its promotional period, customers can rent a Nissan GT-R or a Rolls-Royce for as low as 19.90 yuan (S$4) and 49.90 yuan per hour respectively. Normal prices will range from an hourly rate of 300 to 600 yuan.

Backed by a torrent of venture capital, China has gone sharing mad in recent months with a variety of novel ideas.

Some, however, have proven short-lived - an umbrella-sharing scheme quickly collapsed when most of the umbrellas disappeared within the first few days, while the authorities quickly closed down shared napping capsules in Shanghai due to fire risks.

A BMW-sharing scheme was launched recently in Shenyang, with users scanning a QR code with their mobile phones to rent a royal blue BMW 1 Series for a rental fee of 1.5 yuan per kilometre.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'China's sharing craze now extends to luxury cars'. Print Edition | Subscribe