As China’s biggest city, it’s a no-brainer why investors and entrepreneurs alike would set up businesses in Shanghai. The city is now home to numerous multinational and international companies, and is now even considered a startup hub too.
Techpreneurs and app developers have several reasons why Shanghai is a good place for business. Aside from being a well-known financial hub globally, it is also densely populated, and it is a good starting point for entrepreneurs who want to dominate the Asian scene.
A problem that most foreign investors and entrepreneurs could face is the language barrier. Without learning Mandarin or finding a Chinese business partner, it would be hard to create a localized version of your brand – and the harder it is to communicate with the market.
Aside from that, there are cultural differences to consider. Consumers in China have different attitudes and approach to buying decisions compared to the Western market. For example, most online shoppers in China would rely on Social Media shops and friend recommendations compared to Western shoppers who prefer to order from trusted and legitimate e-commerce websites.
These cultural and language differences need to be sorted out – especially for foreign entrepreneurs who are looking to do business in the Chinese market. To do this effectively, the first thing you need is a space where you can meet-up, talk and brainstorm ideas for the localization of your business – and the best option out there is a coworking space.
There are several coworking spaces in Shanghai, but below are the three most notable ones:
WeWork is an American network of coworking spaces which have a strong presence across major cities in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US. A membership can give access to its network of coworking spaces – aside from Shanghai, you can get a guaranteed desk when you need to do business in a different city. That includes Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Australia, New York City and many other cities where WeWork coworking spaces are located.
WeWork’s presence is fairly new in Shanghai, but it already opened in 3 locations already. Like other coworking spaces, WeWork has a common area, private desks and offices, an open bar and kitchen/cafe that serves unlimited coffee and tea.
A desk starts at ¥2,200 to ¥3,200 per month. Private offices could range from ¥2,800 up to ¥3,790 per month.
It seems that WeWork is more suited for entrepreneurs or consultants who are quite established already. This is because the price range proves to be costly for starting entrepreneurs or freelancers, but it is quite a good bargain for entrepreneurs who needs to attend dealings and meetings in different parts of the world.
Dubbed as the trendiest coworking space in Shanghai, naked HUB claims to offer a startup community where freelancers and startup entrepreneurs can converge, exchange ideas, brainstorm, and of course – work.
It is indeed a community because aside from work areas and desks, the naked HUB provides amenities such as showers, yoga sessions and free weekly massages for “hubbers.” Of course, hubbers also get to enjoy free coffee, tea and beer in the premises. Moreover, their coworking offices are open for 24 hours – perfect for individuals who have irregular work hours, or are more productive during late at night.
Aside from that, naked HUB strengthens its startup community with monthly events and mentoring sessions such as the StartupGrind and Startup Weekend. Being a hubber gives you access to all 8 naked HUB coworking offices in Shanghai, and it also comes with discounts on other properties that are owned by the naked Group, which includes naked Stables and naked Castle.
A dedicated desk is priced at ¥1,800. For those who want a private office space, prices range from ¥3,000 to ¥5,000. They also offer online memberships for only ¥300.
People Squared is one of the earliest names in the coworking space industry of Shanghai – and it still remains one of the most successful too. It first opened in 2008, and today, 10 years later, it has a total of 16 coworking spaces in Shanghai, and 3 more in Beijing.
People Squared has established itself as a hub where local and foreign startup entrepreneurs can meet and partner up. Recently, People Squared partnered with Google’s Entrepreneur Program – opening more resources for startups in terms of technology and funding.
Dedicated desks starts at ¥1,700 per month. Sadly, the place does not offer free coffee and tea, though members get to have a ¥5 discount on its in-house cafe.