Still, the Chinese government is upbeat about the booming market as announced by the State Information Center, and expects it to grow about 40% this year to nearly 5 trillion yuan (736 billion USD). It also predicts that the sharing economy will contribute around 10% of the country’s GDP by 2020.

Investors are also still pouring millions into sharing start-ups. An analyst told Forbes that that since China’s economy is slowing, people are less willing to purchase goods, creating opportunities for the sharing market.

Umbrella sharing, though, was doing just fine without the intervention of private firms.

Since umbrellas are the personal possession most likely to be left behind somewhere, or “borrowed” from a stack waiting in a bucket as you exit a restaurant into pouring rain, the fact is that the whole world (including China) has been umbrella-sharing for ages—we’ve just been doing it organically, and for free.

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