Mar 18, 2019 /EqualOcean/ - Danke Apartments (蛋壳公寓) responded boldly to releasing their apartments the day after they finish furnishing. “Our company is so big that we’ll be able to pay their compensation even after they die,” the company responded, according to 36Kr.
This controversial statement comes after the company recently completed its USD 500 million Series C financing led by Ant Financial which will be put towards upgrading processing systems and “to develop additional apartments for blue-collar workers,” according to PYMNTS. It will also be used to enhance their supply chain.
While Danke aims to upgrade internally, their biggest competitor, ZiRoom (自如), strives to focus on its current target market to provide better living conditions, according to China Daily.
Ziroom and Danke Apartments are similar in that they both provide maintenance such as cleaning services to their tenants and strives to fully utilize AI to speed up the decision-making process and eliminate offline retail. However, while both have a clear goal of providing convenience to their customers, both shouldn’t neglect the importance of maintaining quality while enhancing their supply chain.
ZiRoom got embroiled in controversy regarding hidden cameras, apartment safety, and breaching housing regulations. Back in 2018, a woman sued the company after unsafe formaldehyde levels were detected in her late husband’s apartment, rented to him by Ziroom.
There has also been a report that Ziroom tenants discovered a hidden camera inside a bedside socket, according to TechNode. In regard to breaching housing regulations, there was no confirmed report of what Ziroom did wrong but many of the accusations included activities related to corruption, according to YiCai Global.
On the other hand, Danke has been under the radar in terms of controversies. Though, they have been accused of engaging in competitive bidding with Ziroom and of taking out rental loans under its tenant’s names. Therefore, the tenant would be paying back the loan instead of their rent. This results in tenants to be “burdened by the loan interest,” according to PYMNTS.
As ZiRoom has previously been caught up in controversies damaging their brand, the company is working on protecting their image. However, Danke should be cautious to not make similar mistakes to its competitor. Additionally, as China’s middle class gets richer, quality is becoming increasingly important, especially to white-collar workers.
As such, what makes a consumer choose Danke over Ziroom or vice versa could heavily depend on quality and safety of its furnished rooms in addition to streamlining the online customer experience which Danke and Ziroom are arguably on par with each other.