Pencil News, 8/07/17
Hangzhou-based Sansanqing Technology, operator of mobile umbrella sharing platform Cloud Umbrella, has finalized designs for its new umbrellas and distribution points, and will soon begin producing and deploying shared umbrellas in campus cafeterias, libraries, and school buildings in Hangzhou.
Wang Yonglong, founder of Sansanqing, said that the company initially plans to deploy 20,000 umbrellas, and will eventually expand its deployments to 100,000 umbrellas at university campuses in Hangzhou. Eventually, Cloud Umbrella will also add umbrellas at train stations, hotels, and commercial districts throughout Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
Cloud Umbrella found that costs were too high for its first generation umbrella distribution points, which reach RMB 6,000 per unit. The units were also only able to handle short-handled umbrellas. Cloud Umbrella said that it finished developing its second-generation product on August 2, and that it is currently undergoing product testing and refinement.
The second-generation umbrella dock will use a track design to dispense umbrellas. Each track will be able to hold between 7-10 umbrellas and each distribution unit will have 6 tracks that can handle both short- and long-handled umbrellas. The distribution points will also be equipped with GPRS communications cards that can communicate in 4G network and Wi-Fi environments.
Cloud Umbrella's WeChat public account can be used to scan an umbrella distribution point to release an umbrella after paying an RMB 30 deposit. Users with a credit rating of 600 or better from Ant Financial's Sesame Credit system can rent an umbrella without paying the security deposit.
Umbrella rental fees accrue at a rate of RMB 0.1 per hour, or up to RMB 0.5 per day. If an umbrella is not returned within three days, then the daily maximum rental cost will increase to RMB 1. In addition, Cloud Umbrella will also offer a membership system, according to which users can pay an RMB 35 fee to become a member and receive free access to the service's umbrellas for a full year.
Sansanqing Technology was established in December 2016.