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WeWork said to acquire China's Naked Hub for US$400m

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WeWork Cos is buying Chinese co-working startup Naked Hub as part of a continued expansion in the world's most populous country, according to people familiar with the deal.

[SAN FRANCISCO] WeWork Cos is buying Chinese co-working startup Naked Hub as part of a continued expansion in the world's most populous country, according to people familiar with the deal.

New York-based WeWork, the largest global co-working company, will pay about US$400 million for the three-year-old business, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. The majority will come in the form of equity, one of the people said.

WeWork, which rents desks or offices to freelancers and other workers, is pushing aggressively into Asia. Last year the company raised US$4.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp for its global operations and Asia subsidiaries. The funding valued WeWork at about US$20 billion.

Late last year, WeWork battled with another Chinese co-working company, then called UrWork. WeWork sued over trademark claims, and UrWork agreed to change its name to Ucommune. Naked Hub is the co-working arm of Shanghai-based luxury resort company Naked Retreats. It has outlined plans for more than 30 locations, mostly in Shanghai and Beijing, along with locations in Australia, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

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A spokesman for WeWork declined to comment on the acquisition, and Naked Hub didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Details of the deal were reported earlier Wednesday by China Money Network.

WeWork has been on an shopping spree for the past year, though Naked Hub is only its second-ever acquisition of a co-working company. The first was Singapore-based SpaceMob in August. The deep-pocketed company has mainly used deals as a way to branch into new businesses, such as coding schools, event planning and digital marketing.

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