Shareable luxury handbags arrive in China

Luxury goods are very popular among wealthy Chinese youths Image copyright LAURENT FIEVET/AFP
Image caption Luxury goods are very popular among wealthy Chinese youths

Luxury handbags are the latest shareable commodity to arrive in China, it's reported.

According to the official eNorth website, online users can now rent handbags including brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Dior, using the mobile messenger app WeChat.

Depending on the quality and type of bag, users can pay anything from 99 yuan ($15; £11) to 1,878 yuan ($276; £214). The company, Dou Baobao, asks that users pay an additional 30-50% deposit on the overall market price of the bags.

Dou Baobao founder Cheng Kaiwen told Securities Daily in June that his business model has "economic and environmental" benefits, and said that such services could help Chinese users distinguish between fake and real goods in an increasingly saturated market.

In December 2016, leading e-commerce company Alibaba was added to the US's "notorious markets" list, with government authorities saying that its platforms sold a "high level" of fake goods.

While shareable luxury services already exist in the US and Japan, users of the Sina Weibo microblog are sceptical about whether this business model can have any measure of success in China.

Many ask whether such a business is "truly Communist", and others ask what's next for China's shareable goods industry, given that users can already hire bikes, phone chargers, umbrellas, and even basketballs.

"When will we be able to share a private jet?" one asks.

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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