Shared power bank, photo from Guangzhou Daily
The concept of sharing economy is not new in China. After bike-sharing and book-sharing went popular, charger-sharing became another trend lately.
Shared chargers are normally seen in train stations, airports and shopping malls, where smartphone dependent users' phone may easily run out of battery. Users can pay to get their phone charged by using a shared charger.
However, this charger rental services sparked heat debate on the Internet, since besides free charging services, it also brought users some troubles. Many users in China's Guangzhou city found out their phones were forcibly installed with several applications without asking for permission first.
"After paying for charging service by scanning a QR code, I clicked a button similar to "settings." Then my phone started automatically downloading rogue applications such as loan apps, finances apps and browsers, " said Mr. Shi, a shared charger user, according to local media.
Some users' phones were reportedly hacked after they used a shared charger. One user claimed that his personal photos and files were leaked after being connected to the charger. However, one shared charger company defended that charger rental services were not involved into privacy leakage.
Except for the leakages of personal files and forcibly-downloaded rogue apps, some other users also complained that charging with a shared charger is too slow.
Based on problems reflected above, a survey about public's attitude towards shared charging services was also conducted by Guangzhou Daily among 100 interviewees. Result showed that people who've used shared chargers are primarily concerned about privacy leakage, limited charger distribution and phone viruses.
After shared charger, shared power bank also rises in recent days, safety issue of which still remains uncertain till now.