Coworking giant WeWork is now offering discounts to startups under a new program through the partnership with Alibaba, to retain them as future clients when they succeed and grow. WeWork will use Alibaba’s cloud unit to launch the WeWork Labs accelerator program in China.
The two companies plan to open eight co-branded spaces in 2019 across Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen, and are aiming to help 20 foreign startups enter China and 30 Chinese startups to expand overseas.
Alibaba Cloud will provide technology and entrepreneurship support across a variety of categories, including e-commerce, fintech, logistics, healthcare, and entertainment.
WeWork Labs, meanwhile, will provide rental prices at a 10% to 25% discount, and won’t seek equity stakes in participating startups. Instead, it hopes to earn a return by retaining startups as lessees as they grow over time.
WeWork and Alibaba previously teamed up in March 2018, when the US company began waiving rental deposits for customers with high scores on Zhima Credit, the credit scoring platform developed by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial.
The two companies have also partnered with China’s top universities—Tsinghua University and Peking University—to develop exchange and training programs for Chinese entrepreneurs that are of part of WeWork Labs, according to Xinhua.
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