WeWork entered China’s coworking market in 2016 to take advantage of the country’s massive growth opportunity, but due to the recent delay of its IPO, competitors are looking to aim for its businesses.
The coworking firm went on an acquisition and expansion spree when it entered the market, buying out Shanghai-based nakedHub for $400 million and adding 13 additional locations to its footprint in China.
Now, competition in the area is heating up as WeWork’s main rival, Ucommune, continues to go on its own acquiring spree, buying out smaller players such as Wedo, Fountown, Workingdom, Woo Space and others in order to expand into key Asian cities. It has also made its presence known in the U.S. through a joint venture with Serendipity Labs.
Setting it apart from its competition is Ucommune’s use of the UBazaar app, where members can book desks, conference rooms, as well as get help with legal and HR. Beyond that though is the app’s use of facial recognition.
“In China, what we are doing is known as fast-response tech,” said Daqing Mao, founder of Ucommune. “We never treat our business as real estate. It’s not about the space or the square meter. You can move these intelligent technology tables everywhere, to office lobbies or airport lounges.”