Hire a high-end phone for a year or pay a monthly flat rate for the daily release of clothes are some of the latest trends among young Chinese who are revolutionizing consumption habits in the Asian country.
In recent years hundreds of startups have managed to seduce millions of users in China through mobile applications that offer all types of services – for a limited time and at a very low price – and which are now expanding into sectors such as fashion or consumer electronics.
Among them is YCloset, which for a monthly fee of 499 yuan ($ 72, 63 euros) allows its customers to use unlimited clothing for 30 days, which are delivered and received – take them to the laundry room once used by the company.
"I like the idea of renting more, because I do not think that the recycling system is so developed in China. Users of these applications at least use what they are hiring, "comments Efe Wei Wei, a young Beijing enthusiast who developed this trend.
According to him, the application allows not only "spending various clothes every day", but is "balanced" both with the environment and the pockets of the country's initial middle class.
"Previously, many people used these applications to try out luxury brands that they could not afford, but now it covers all types of clothing, and people are looking primarily for diversity at a low price."– a young woman points out, who adds: "it makes no sense to buy clothes that you will eventually wear only once or twice a year".
YCloset, founded in 2015 and with over 15 million users – in an industry that can exceed 100,000 million yuan ($ 14,413 million, € 12,622 million) – has also given many designers the opportunity to experience their clothes, Efe explained the executive director and company founder, Stella Liu.
"We have over a million items in the" stock "in various categories, with the guarantee that they will receive professionally cleaned parts", Explained Liu, noting that their subscribers – mostly women aged 22 to 35 with medium and high incomes – also gain access to the "digital network", in which they provide publications that inspire other users.
In addition, Liu revealed that the company will increase spending on artificial intelligence and large databases to "better serve the company" and "offer users a wider range of personalized services" according to their preferences.
The results of the start-up attracted the attention of giants Alibaba, Softbank and Sequoia, which last year invested in the company 50 million dollars (43.8 million euros).
Currently, YCloset cooperates with major distributors in the country, such as Taobao and Tmall, both operated by Alibaba.
Apart from fashion, this type of company offers all kinds of products through its applications, including real estate services, transport – eg popular rental bikes and cars – or consumer electronics, for example, high-end cameras and mobile phones.
"About 4000 yuan ($ 577, 505 euros) per year, Zhima Credit – a company affiliated with Alibaba, which gives users privileges depending on their purchases and interaction in social networks – gives you the opportunity to rent the last year by Model Apple, iPhoneX", says Wei Wei who has not missed the offer.
The report published by the State Information Center shows that shared economy has spread throughout the country, with the volume of transactions that reached 4.92 trillion yuan (709,120 million dollars, 621,002 million euros) in 2017, 47% more than in the previous year, according to the China Daily newspaper.
That is why large corporations and the Chinese government strongly embrace this economic modality, which they consider to be the driving force of economic growth, because according to government projections, the common economy will contribute to 10% of China's economic output by 2020, compared to almost 3% in 2015.