Paid study rooms thrive in China

Paid self-study rooms in a shared space have become more and more popular among learners and entrepreneurs in China in recent years.

(Photo/Xinhua)

By the end of this July, the number of searches for shared study rooms soared by more than 10 times over the same period of last year, according to statistics released by Meituan, China’s service-focused e-commerce giant.

In 2019, about 1,000 paid study rooms were newly added across Chinese cities. So far, there were over 200 shared study rooms in cities including Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an, respectively. In particular, Shenyang is home to over 360 such study lounges, ranking first in the country.

Equipped with eye-caring lamps, comfortable tables and chairs, air purifiers and various kinds of stationery, these study rooms also provide tea, snacks and other services.

Consumers of a paid study room usually include college students who want to pass postgraduate entrance exams and civil service exams, white collars, and high school students. In this study room, consumers can pay around 50 yuan ($7.6) to 100 yuan per day for a quiet and friendly learning atmosphere. Users can buy a wide range of packages, such as a monthly, quarterly or yearly pass, depending on their individual needs.

“I cannot concentrate on learning at home at all,” said Huang Han, a regular of a paid study room. “With a better learning atmosphere, the paid self-study room that provides comfortable decoration, lighting and environment is more efficient.”

Huang used to get a seat at the study rooms of colleges or public libraries near her home. However, many colleges remain closed to the public amid the COVID-19 epidemic. As Huang couldn’t reserve a seat at the library nearest to her home, so pays about 10 yuan per hour for a seat in a study room, a price that is acceptable to her.

The fact that seats are hard to get in public libraries is one of the reasons for the popularity of paid study rooms in China.

Chen Suming, a founder of a paid self-study room in Beijing said that he started the business, because he couldn’t get a seat when he wanted to learn.

Another reason is people’s desire for private space. Data from market consultancy company iiMedia Research show that 43.2 percent of users of paid study rooms mainly pay for a private study environment.