Chinese hotel offers bed-sharing scheme

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By JI YUAN
Hospitality Correspondent

Customers test bed-sharing facilities

HEFEI (China Daily Show) – It’s eight o’clock on a Friday morning, and salesman Zhu Ren, 44, is getting ready is in hotel room for another long day on the road. As he leaves, a young woman straightens the sheets, sprays some Glade, and the next weary traveler takes Zhu’s place in bed.

“We’re calling it bed sharing,” says chain-smoking Xu Ren, who manages the Lucky Night Hotel. “You already share apartments, taxis, bicycles, umbrellas – why not beds?”

China is at the heart of the sharing-economy frenzy. Airbnb recently announced plans to double investment for local service Aibiying, ride-hailing firm Didi is considering a $6 billion investment by SoftBank, while Mobike and Ofo are jostling for domination of the vast bike-sharing market.

In the midst of this billion-dollar boom, 55-year-old Xu’s bed-sharing scheme – dubbed WeMattress – is quietly carving a niche for itself among businessmen in the sleepy city of Hefei. “I always drop by the Lucky Night if I’m in town for a few hours,” said a bra-clasp salesman surnamed Wang. “Great service, every time.”

Guests who check into the Lucky Night can choose from three types of room: single, double or “special.” Those who choose regular rooms are given multiple opportunities to take advantage of the unique bed-sharing system, though. Guests are woken up throughout the night by friendly staff eager to promote the innovative scheme.

With the backing of several mid-level local officials, Xu hopes to roll out his Lucky Night bed-sharing hotels across the city. But it won’t be easy: Xu already faces stiff competition from a copycat chain next door. “Goddamn, Jade Empress Business Hotel steal my business model,” Xu grumbled while laying out expansion plans. “They even offer cheaper girls. I mean, beds.”

Guests can use an app to select their favorite companion

 

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