BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Selling your dreams to people who have don't even know you? That's exactly what's happening in the Internet age.
When Jia Yuhao, the owner of a hostel, thought about furnishing his hostel last year, he posted a fund-raising advertisement on demohour.com.
Two months later, he received 146,000 yuan (23,725 U.S. dollars) from 3,000 people who he's never met. In return, they all received membership cards for Jia's hostel in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.
Jia is one of many Chinese entrepreneurs who are benefiting from crowd funding, an innovative way of raising money for their businesses.
Crowd funding projects are usually displayed on websites designated for the purpose, with a fundraising goal and deadline. People who like the project can pay to support it.
Project initiators must reach their funding goals to receive the money. Supporters are rewarded with service or products. The websites charge fees of up to 10 percent of the funds raised.
First introduced in the United States, crowd funding websites have become increasingly popular among business people in China.
"Crowd funding has made it easier for ordinary people without much money to start their own companies," said Zhang You, co-founder of Demohour.
Launched in July 2011, Demohour is China's first crowd funding website. It has been followed by dozens of others, including Musikid.com for music projects, Tmeng.cn for movie producers and Emielife.com for designers.
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