• Zero Waste Shanghai

How to recycle your used electronics with Aihuishou 爱回收?


Aihuishou (爱回收) is the largest electronics recycling company in China. Since its founding in 2011, it has grown to recycle 10 million second hand electronic devices in 2018. Today we are going to show you what they are all about and how to use their services.

Aihuishou was born in a wave of recycling start-ups in 2011. At first, it had trouble gaining traction because people were not used to selling their used devices to a recycler. It then started building brick-and-mortar stores to facilitate customers’ experience. In Shanghai, there are over 40 of these service centers.

Apart from these service centers, they have installed ‘cellphone ATM’ machines across China, where you can finalize the recycling buyback and get paid on your online account immediately. You can also ship the device via kuaidi or have Aihuishou send someone to pick up the device. A variety of ways to expedite the process has persuaded more consumers to try their service.

Another concern that makes consumers hesitant to have their devices recycled is data privacy. To break this barrier, Aihuishou utilizes Blancco, a technology trusted to deliver a thorough data wipe-out, after which the data are impossible to restore.

China has comparable smartphone penetration rates to the US, but only 5% gets recycled, versus 48% that gets recycled in the US. On the other hand, Chinese consumers tend to upgrade their phones more frequently, getting a new one every 18 months on average, versus the 32 months in the US.

Aihuishou is looking to leverage its dominance in a large market to expand overseas. Due to changing consumer trends and differing tastes in each country, there are opportunities to arbitrage between markets. Aihuishou is building a global network of recycling companies by investing in similar start-ups in other countries.