After bikes, umbrellas, portable chargers and sleep capsules are made sharable across China, entrepreneurs started eyeing the fitness market, as shared gym rooms have hit the streets in Beijing.
Unlike regular gyms that provide vast, open spaces for multiple members to share at the same time, the newly debuted shared gym rooms are micro, stand-alone rooms for individuals to use, often set up near residential communities.
Every four-square-meters cubic room is equipped with a treadmill, an air purifier, a mirror, a television and air conditioning, and user can let down the shades for privacy. When exercising, users can listen to music, watch movies and check emails by connecting to the Internet via the screen installed on the treadmill. There's no shower or wash basin.
Similar to using a shared bike, users can locate a shared gym via smartphone application, book a room in advance and scan a QR code for access. A refundable deposit of 99 yuan (15 US dollars) is required, and users are charged 0.2 yuan (0.03 US dollars) per minute every time they use the facility.
The shared gym rooms are created by Misspao, a Beijing-based technology company established in July. Within two weeks since its establishment, the company has already secured two rounds of funding valued over 100 million (15 million US dollars), Yicai Global reports.
The concept of shared fitness experience is not entirely nascent. Last December, Shanghai-based technology company VRun set up shared treadmills in office and apartment buildings.
Sharing economy is still booming in China. According to Yicai Global, confident investors are pouring millions into sharing start-ups. In March, the State Information Center published a report which predicts that the total value of China's sharing economy will see an annualized growth of 40% in the coming years, and the sector is expected to contribute around 10% to the country's GDP by 2020.