Cheap Rentals for Chinese Youth: Capsule Apartments Out; Human Ant Farms In

capsule apartment beijing
capsule apartment beijing

In a world of rising rental prices, shrinking square footage and fewer amenities, it's borderline shocking that China's infamous capsule apartments aren't cutting the mustard.

Designed primarily to help low-income recent graduates gain a toehold in one of the country's most expensive cities, the tiny 8-by-4-foot rooms located on the outskirts of Beijing were available for as little as $40 a month. Hailed as a solution to China's skyrocketing housing costs and high level of homelessness, the capsule apartments offered a reprieve, albeit a small one, for those with no fiscal alternatives.

Which is why it comes as a surprise that some are being torn down. And where capsule apartments fail, many low-income Chinese residents are hoping "ant tribes" succeed.