WeWork Buys China Co-Working Rival naked Hub for $400 Million

By Bridget O'Donnell, April 12, 2018

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This just in: WeWork, the world's largest co-working firm, has reportedly acquired China-based rival naked Hub in a deal said to be worth around USD400 million (RMB2.5 billion).

Bloomberg reports that the merger is part of the US-based company's ambitious plan to dominate the hot Middle Kingdom co-working space market. 

Since debuting in China in 2016, WeWork has opened 13 offices across Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, adding over 10,000 members along the way. This year, more locations are set to open in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing and Wuhan.

WeWork Yan'an LuWeWork Yan'an Lu (Shanghai), image via WeWork

But despite its success in the American market, WeWork has faced some pretty tough competition in China. Along with naked Hub, WeWork has battled with Ucommune — the startup formerly known as "UrWork" — for its piece of the co-working pie.

First hitting the scene in 2015, naked Hub — part of the Shanghai-based luxury hospitality company the naked Group — has opened 20 locations in Shanghai and Beijing (including Asia's largest co-working place), as well as an additonal 46 spaces around Asia (in places like Hong Kong, Vietnam and Australia), according to TechNode. It also boasts more than 10,000 members and was said to be launching another 30 locations in the near future. According to Reuters, the naked Group has a lofty target of 200 locations by 2020.

As China Money Network notes, today's deal appears to signal the start of "intensifying mergers" and an "acquisition war" in China's cutthroat co-working industry.

[Top image via naked Hub]

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