employees work workspace

Pic: WeWork

WeWork in Shanghai: Co-working space startup opens first office in Asia

SHANGHAI will be welcoming the first of three co-working spaces by U.S.-based WeWork, a startup that provides small businesses who can’t afford offices with a space to set up shop and work from.

The company – which currently operates in 15 cities in the U.S., as well as in Mexico, Israel, U.K., Canada, Germany, France, and the Netherlands – is using the Chinese metropolitan city as a gateway into Asia.

According to Tech in Asia, WeWork will be open for business on July 1, and is also planning to create spaces in Hong Kong, Seoul, Sydney, and India, although which city has yet to be confirmed.

Fred Lu, general manager of WeWork China, was quoted saying: “Today, China is a rapidly developing economy home to big businesses, an active market for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, and millions of entrepreneurs.”

He added that WeWork’s mission is to provide people with “the space, connections, services, and flexibility” needed to help them with their work, as well as “fostering collaborations with like-minded people”.

In order to use a WeWork space, individuals need to register as members and pay to use the space on a monthly basis, with the fixed desk plan at US$430 a month, and a private office plan at US$500 a month, making it more costly than other co-working spaces in Shanghai.

Established co-working spaces such as CoWork and Naked Hub‘s most expensive memberships are priced at just US$150 (999 yen) a year and US$450 (3000 yen) a month respectively, and they also offer various recreation and common areas, gyms, bars, and meeting rooms for the businesses to use.

However, a basic membership with WeWork can get members perks and benefits from their partners, which include Office 365, Slack, Evernote, and UPS, just to name a few.

Ole Ruch, WeWork’s managing director and head of operations in Asia, told Yahoo Finance that the beauty of the company is that it provides “a physical place where people… can come in and meet local companies, but we also offer professional services and partnerships that can generally be helpful to people”.

WeWork’s first Shanghai space will be located on 135 Yanping Lu in the Jing’an district, followed by The Konnect, No. 118 Yunnan Road South in the Huangpu district, and 696 Weihai Road, also in the Jing’an District later this year.