WeWork buys rival Naked Hub in China expansion drive

Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive officer of WeWork.

Shared working start-up WeWork has bought a Chinese competitor, further expanding its reach into the Asian market.

The U.S. firm, which rents office spaces to freelancers, announced the tie-up with Naked Hub on Thursday. The news was initially reported byBloomberg.

Neither company disclosed details of the transaction, but one report put the value of the deal at $400 million.

Naked Hub was established in 2015 by developer Grant Horsfield as part of luxury resort firm Naked Group. The company has 10,000 users across 24 locations, WeWork said in a blog post.

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann said the deal was part of incorporating cities into the working space, as well as buildings. Naked Hub has locations in Shanghai, where it is headquartered, Beijing and Hong Kong.

“In Naked Hub, we have found an equal who shares our thinking about the importance of space, community, design, culture, and technology,” Neumann said. “Together, I believe we will have a profound impact in helping businesses across China grow, scale, and succeed.”

WeWork faces competition from the likes of Belgian firm Regus and U.S. firm Carr. There are also several apps in the market that let workers find office space through an on-demand service.

Last year, SoftBank announced a $4.4 billion investment in WeWork, backed by both the Japanese firm and its technology-focused Vision Fund. WeWork has been driving expansion into Asia, where demand for co-working spaces is expected to grow significantly.

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