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Package Pick-up Club: Chinese College Girl Sets Up Successful Business

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A service that lets college students pick up your packages and buy your groceries – it is a business model that proved successful for the female student Xue Jing, who now manages a team of 30 students who all work as ‘package pick-up staff’.

On December 1st, Sina News reported how one college girl from China’s Henan province has set up a successful company by picking up people’s packages. With China’s thriving e-commerce, the package business is hot business.

In 2015, college student Xue Jing (薛静) from Zhengzhou noticed how people had to go out in all weather to pick up their delivery packages at crowded pickup points. It gave her the idea that people might want someone else to do it for them. With the help of a teacher, she started her own company where a team of college students runs errands for others.

Now, Xue Jing has around 30 people working for her. With a public WeChat account, the company, that is named Pao Pao (跑跑, “run run”), can be easily contacted for errands. Besides picking up packages, the students can also do groceries for their customers.

Pao Pao’s students attend classes during the day and are available to pick up some packages in the late afternoon or evening. Xue Jing told Sina News that by doing so, they can earn around a 1000 rmb (±145$) in extra earnings per month.

According to Sina, companies like Pao Pao are becoming more ubiquitous now, with other universities having similar services. It is referred to as a “run errands economy” (跑腿经济).

Nowadays, many Chinese universities and neighborhoods have so-called “delivery pick up points” where people can pick up their packages, or take them out of automated slots. Some pickup points have long waiting lines.

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For some apartment buildings, these points are within their building, but for other communities, the points might not be that nearby. (Check out our video below to see how this works:)

The story of Pao Pao became a hot topic on Weibo, where many netizens appreciate the business model: “This is perfect for lazy people with money.”

Other do not see it as a novelty: “We had this in Chengdu 8 years ago. I even used it once.”

“Our university also has this. They charge 1 RMB for 1 package, so I don’t actually know how they make money,” another Weibo user comments.

“It actually is quite difficult to be poor in China nowadays,” another netizen says: “There are just so many ways to make money.”

– By Manya Koetse
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©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Insight

Pet Hotels are Booming Business in Beijing

Chinese pet lovers are willing to pay up to 900 RMB (±136$) per night to give their pet a comfortable stay at one of Beijing’s ‘pet hotels’ (宠物酒店).

Qing Yan

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The success of luxurious pet lodging in Beijing has become especially apparent over the past October holiday. Chinese animal lovers are willing to pay up to 900 RMB (±136$) per night to give their pet the time of their lives while they are out of town.

For loving pet owners, before heading out on a holiday, finding a trustworthy pet lodge is often just as important as finding a comfortable hotel for themselves. And nowadays, both should be booked as early as possible during a holiday season.

In Beijing, the booming business of pet lodging was especially noticeable during the Golden Week holiday. Various Chinese media reported that pet hotels in Beijing have become so popular that they were already fully booked a month before the holiday started.

This is also what Zhang Wen, a local pet lodge owner, told Beijing Youth Daily (@北京青年报). He and his colleagues are specialized in tending to every possible need of Beijing’s household pets while their families are taking a holiday.

Some pet hotels now charge as high as 900 RMB (±136$) per day to lodge a pet. The pet lodging business is quickly expanding across Beijing. Some local residents now also improvise lodging facilities in their private homes, asking approximately 30-50 RMB (±5-8$) per day.

With a growing demand for comfortable lodges for family pets, Beijing’s ‘pet hotels’ are increasingly competitive. Some offer private rooms for dogs and assign a member of staff for every pet to look after its diet, sanitation, cleaning, and exercise.

Some pet hotels are even equipped with sporting, beauty, bathing, and water purification facilities, resembling a five-star hotel. Non-traditional pets such as spiders and lizards are also welcome, as long as their owners clarify their routines in advance.

Criticism on luxurious pet hotels

On Weibo, the topic “Luxurious Pet Hotel Charges 900 RMB Per Day” (#豪华宠物酒店900一天#) received some 15 million views this October.

The news, which was first reported by Beijing Youth Daily, stirred discussions on social media. Although many people find the pet hotels cute or funny, there are also many who comment that this kind of extravagance for pets painfully points out the rich-poor divide in China.

“Dogs are living a better life than us humans now,” some said: “I can’t even stay at a hotel that is this expensive.”

One netizen sarcastically commented: “If you can’t afford housing in Beijing, just go and become a pet to someone here.”

Some even find the boom in luxurious pet hotels a worrying trend, saying “this will intensify the social conflicts.”

Besides the extravagant pet spoiling, there are also other reasons why netizens criticize the spread of fancy pet lodging. On social media, questions over epidemic issues are also surfacing.

Some companies that were interviewed by Chinese media failed to show any credentials for providing lodging services and had no in-house veterinary to offer health examinations for the pets taken in; China currently does not have a specific national legal framework nor corresponding regulatory measures for qualified pet lodgings.

By Qing Yan

Edited by Manya Koetse.
©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

China’s ‘Wedding of the Year’ Is the Talk of the Day on Weibo

This rich second generation “fu’erdai” couple just celebrated China’s wedding of the year in Wenzhou.

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Although many still think of Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming when talking about ‘China’s biggest wedding’, this fu’erdai couple have just celebrated a wedding that is even more extravagant.

See our latest Weivlog on this Wenzhou wedding of the year, which became one of top trending topics on Weibo on October 11, here:

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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