A year-long high-end telephone rental or monthly flat rate pay to take off clothes every day are some of the latest trends among Chinese young people who revolutionize consumption habits in Asian countries.
In recent years, hundreds of start-ups have managed to woo millions of users in China through a mobile application that offers all types of services – for a certain time and at a very low price -, and which is now extended to sectors such as fashion or consumer electronics.
Among them is YCloset, which with a monthly fee of 499 yuan (72 dollars, 63 euros) allows customers to use unlimited clothing for 30 days, which is sent and collected – to be taken to the laundry used by the company.
"I like the idea of hiring more because I don't think recycling systems are highly developed in China. The users of this application at least use what they rent, "commented Efe Wei Wei, a young Beijing fan with the emergence of this trend.
According to him, this application is not only possible to "let go of different clothes every day", but also "sustainable" with the environment and pocket of the country's new middle class.
"Previously, many people used this application to try out luxury brands that they could not afford, but now it includes all types of clothing, people are looking for, above all, for variations at a small cost", showing young women, who added that "it doesn't make sense to buy clothes that in the end you will only wear once or twice a year".
YCloset, founded in 2015 and with more than 15 million users – in industries that can exceed 100,000 million yuan (14,413 million dollars, 12,622 million euros) – also gave designers plenty to give to find out their clothes, explained Efe, director executive and company founder, Stella Liu.
"We have more than one million items in 'stock' in various categories, with the assurance that they will receive pieces that are cleaned professionally", Liu explained, noting that their customers – most women between the ages of 22 and 35 with middle and high income – also get access to "digital networks" where they share publications that serve as inspiration for other users.
In addition, Liu revealed that the company will increase its spending on artificial intelligence and large databases "to operate businesses better" and "offer users a wider range of personalized services" according to their preferences.
The start-up performance attracted the attention of giant Alibaba, Softbank and Sequoia, which last year invested 50 million dollars (43.8 million euros) in the company.
Now, YCloset operates with major state distributors, such as Taobao and Tmall, both of which are operated by Alibaba.
Apart from fashion, this type of company offers through its application all types of products, including real estate services, transportation – such as bicycle rental and popular cars – or consumer electronics, such as high-end photo cameras and cellphones.
"For around 4,000 yuan (577 dollars, 505 euros) per year, Zhima Credit – a company affiliated with Alibaba that gives users privileges according to their purchases and interactions on social networks – gives you the opportunity to rent the last one year of the Apple Model, iPhoneX, "said Wei Wei, who did not miss the offer.
A report published by the State Information Center shows that the shared economy has spread throughout the country, with transaction volumes reaching 4.92 trillion yuan (709,120 million dollars, 621,002 million euros) in 2017, 47% more than the previous year, according to the China Daily newspaper.
That is why big companies and the Chinese Government are very betting on this economic modality, which he sees as a force that drives economic growth because, according to government projections, the shared economy will contribute 10% of China's economic production for 2020, compared to almost 3% in in 2015.