You may have seen, or at least heard about, shared umbrellas popping up around China back in April. They seemed to have appeared overnight, hanging on fences and railings around the city.
Like MoBikes, E Umbrellas didn’t have docking stations. Instead, each umbrella had its own lock for which you could get the combination by scanning the QR code. Seemed easy enough; however, within a few weeks E Umbrella reportedly “lost” most of the initial 300,000 umbrellas they made available; costing them millions of yuan.
Now a new docked shared umbrella service has recently made its way to Shekou. We ran into a bunch of these JJ伞 (Pinyin: San, meaning umbrella) in September and thought we’d give them a try.
Unlike the E Umbrellas, JJ’s umbrellas are found docked in umbrella stations. You will need to dock them back into a JJ Umbrella Station when you’re finished; however, they’re not expensive, very easy to use and are actually pretty good looking compared to E Umbrellas.
Like MoBike and other shared bike services, JJ伞 has a map feature that lets you know where umbrellas are available. Open the JJ伞 Official WeChat Account, then click the 附近网点 button to access the map. If you’re not following the JJ伞 Official Account yet, go to the “Contacts” tab in WeChat, click the “Official Accounts” option, then the (+) sign in the upper right corner, and enter JJ伞. Click the green “Follow” button to access their account and click the 附近网点 button to see the map of available umbrellas.
Once you’ve found an umbrella station, just scan the WeChat or AliPay QR Code to get started. If you use WeChat, like we did, click the “租借雨伞” button in the bottom menu of their WeChat Official Account, which appears after you click the green “Follow” button. If the station can’t connect to the internet, you’ll get a warning right away; like this one we got the first one we tried at Sea World Metro Station Exit A.
If you haven’t already paid the ¥30 deposit, you’ll be asked to do so after scanning the QR code; otherwise, the station will light up indicating which umbrella you can borrow as soon as you scan the QR code.
Unlike MoBike and other bike lending services, your rental charge is deducted from your deposit so you don’t need to pay each time you use an umbrella. The cost to borrow is just ¥1 per ever 12 hour rental.
When you’re done with the umbrella, just slide it into an empty slot in any JJ Umbrella station nearby (which you can use the APP’s map feature to find) and the app automatically calculates how long you’ve had it and deducts the appropriate amount from your deposit. It’s that easy.
When you no longer want to use the JJ umbrella service, you can request a return of your deposit by going to the JJ伞 Official WeChat Account, clicking the 用户中心 button, then the 余额提现 button, and then the 点击提现 yellow button. A confirmation message will appear with a yellow another yellow button letting you know it’s all ok. Their stated policy says that the deposit will be returned to your account within 2-5 days; however, we received ours back almost immediately.