Portable Battery Chargers cause outrage over unfair costs

13 May 2021

Shareable chargers have become a new trend under the Chinese economy, but recent rent rises have led to huge numbers of complaints among users.

The shareable portable battery attracted their ‘angel’ customers at the beginning with free usage for half an hour and one RMB yuan per hour. 

After gaining loyal customers, the company increased the price to 4 yuan.

At bars and busy malls in Chinese main cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the rent of a shared-charger is up to 10 yuan per hour, causing social repercussions.

Yiting Chen, customer at Wanda Plaza in Urumqi said: “You can use the same amount of money to buy a new power bank after using the shared one for several times. I’d rather bring my own charger every day.”

More than 150 charging spots in one city has made the market almost saturated, but more stations were added at the tourist areas during the May-Day holiday.

The rental prices at these places are even three to four times higher than the original.

Public relations officer from Laidian Technology, Wei, said: “This is a highly competitive market. Our company is at the stage of raising funds, we need money to expand our market.”

Map showing available charging spots

 

Zhinqiang Li, an investment partner of Monster Shareable Charger, said: “We’ve paid the initial fees for the first year but the revenue didn’t come out as expected due to the pandemic. We need to earn the cost back and that’s why we put up the price.”

However, according to the prospectus provided by Monster Charger Company, their revenue last year was 28.09 billion RMB yuan, whereas its rent is still growing up.

The latest round of price adjustment is actually a result of its coming listing, explained by Lijian Sun, the director of Financial Analysis Department of Fudan University.

They said: “The sharable economy forms their business flows quite easily, they put huge investment costs at the early stages, and then cover the costs by adjusting their rental price.”

The iterative-updated phone batteries of higher capability and quick-charging technology made mobile chargers less attractive. Only improving the intelligent management process and charging at a unified standard will create a better user experience.

Picture of sharable charging station

Written by Yuxuan Wang

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