Folding stool-sharing service in Beijing sees half its seats go missing on first day

Folding stools placed at bus stops in Beijing.
Folding stools placed at bus stops in Beijing. PHOTO: WEIBO/HAPPENINGS IN BEIJING

BEIJING - A folding stool-sharing service saw over half its seats go missing and presumed stolen on the very first day.

The service was launched on Sunday (Aug 13), with over a thousand stools placed at bus stops in the Chinese capital, according to the Beijing Morning Post.

There was a slow start to business due to the rainy weather, but by the end of the day, many of the seats had disappeared.

An official from the company told the local media that it had foreseen this, and had factored seats going missing as a cost in providing the service.

According to a marketing expert, the shared folding stool service could not be classified as a sharing-economy service, as the seats were used to advertise and promote other products.

Internet users have criticised the service, with some commenting on how easy it is to steal the stools, and others worried about the seats being thrown all over the streets.

The news follows previous similar occurrences with bicycles and umbrellas in the country.

Bicycle-sharing firms such as 3Vbike and Wukong Bike were forced to shut down after a majority of their bicycles went missing.

An umbrella-sharing company in China also lost most of its 300,000 umbrellas, just weeks after launching the rental scheme.