The sharing office – "WeWork" in Jing'an district in Shanghai, on Dec 26, 2019. (Photo: Sipa)
Chinese authorities issued policies to further support the development of the sharing economy to vitalize the consumption market and promote employment, as new norms for these enterprises mushroomed amid the COVID-19 outbreak to be a new economic driver, according to a report jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and 13 other government departments in July.
In 2019, the transaction volume of China's sharing economy market reached 3.28 trillion yuan, an increase of 11.6 percent over the previous year. About 800 million people have participated in the industry, and about 78 million were service providers, an increase of 4 percent year-on-year, data from the Sharing Economy Research Center under the State Information Center showed.
As new lifestyles and ways of consumption boom, intelligent upgrading and business model innovation are encouraged in the transportation, online shopping, cultural travel and catering sectors, the report pointed out.
Zhang Xinhong, director of sharing economy research at the State Information Center, told Economic Daily that policies introduced would help the sharing economy industry to break through the bottleneck and usher in a new period of growth.
Zhang also held the view that the government has deepened its insights on the sharing economy, with a focus not only on people's daily life services, but also on primary and secondary industries like shared agriculture and manufacturing.
According to the report, the government supported e-commerce platforms to extend their coverage and application in rural areas, therefore fresh agricultural products could be delivered to urban cities directly, and countryside residents could conveniently purchase daily goods.
In addition to coordinated development in urban and rural areas, the report also noted the sharing economy could serve as a new engine of manufacturing. Enterprises are encouraged to share technological resources and experimental platforms to the public, and develop a high-quality mechanism of combined production factors.
As a new business model, sharing economy is of great market value and potential, for it combines "platform" and "service" together, said Pan Helin, executive director of the Institute for Digital Economics at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. "On the other hand, the sharing economy can effectively improve the utilization efficiency of idle resources, and attracts investment of market-oriented enterprises."
The report said authorities would help build up new data transfer and communication platforms with efficient utilization of statistics.
"Statistics is of great value and can create unlimited space of development for the sharing economy," Pan said. Sufficient data communication and exchange would facilitate business in various fields, such as marketing, risk controlling and resource sharing.