How power bank sharing startups defied skeptics in China

Research shows people are renting more portable mobile chargers than ever.

When shared power banks first popped up in China a few years ago, there was no lack of skeptics. These battery packs, which can be grabbed and dropped at charging stations as small as a mini fridge, can be rented through apps. They target urbanites who need to power up their phones on the run, but critics questioned why anyone would want to rent a portable charger when they could simply carry their own.

Well, it turns out plenty of people like the idea.

Over two-thirds of the country’s shopping malls, restaurants, airports and train stations now are filled with power bank rental stations. And more than two-thirds of users are under 30 years old.During the peak period of the boom, 35 venture capital firms reportedly poured more than US$160 million into the power bank sharing business within just 40 days.

As some remaining players says, the industry could have a lucrative future. The sourcing price for each power bank is between US$10 to US$15, and up to US$1,500 for each charging station. The cost is far lower than setting up a dockless bike sharing business, where a bike alone could cost several hundred dollars. That’s not counting the money spent on maintenance and recovery.The future looks so bright that one player who previously gave up on power bank sharing is now reportedly seeking to return.

But if a giant enters this field, it may bring competitive pressure. In a new round of competition, the sharing power bank market will give birth to a new industry unicorn.


MEITUAN, one of the top three internet companies in China. Market value more than $200 billion,  follow closely ALIBABA, TENCENT.

MEITUAN reentered the shared power bank field in April, 2021. Now it already captures much market.


Post time: Jan-09-2023