3-meter square spaces are becoming increasingly popular among young Chinese people for test prep.

Chen Feifei, age 22, spends most of her daytime around this tiny area of 32 square feet, which is only enough for a desk, a lamp, and a stack of books. Millions of people like Chen want to rent spaces about the same size as a shoe cabinet to study for the coming exams. This has created a new business in China with an average price of 70 dollars per month. 

According to The Paper, 3600 businesses are providing self-service study desks, of which 92% were created during the last five years. It started in the big cities and quickly spread to other provinces due to the high demand for this kind of service. Students believe they can focus better and learn more efficiently when squeezing into these private spaces. Extra services such as canteen, food, and entertainment are also available for customer’s convenience. 

This replaces the library where students could gather for study but regularly shut down due to the Zero-COVID prevention policy.

Amid the Chinese economic downturn and slow growth rates, people steer their investment in education for promising careers. IiMedia Research Group estimated the total number of study rooms was 7.55 million by the end of 2020.

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