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Sharing Economy Sees Rapid Growth in China

Many see shared services as “good for society”

November 24, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce

Sharing economy revenues are soaring in China, according to a September 2016 report from iiMedia Research. Revenues are projected to rise 76% this year, reaching RMB3.95 trillion (roughly $633 billion). And more growth is set to come.

Sharing Economy Revenues in China, 2012-2018 (trillions of Chinese yuan renminbi and % change)

iiMedia Research defined the sharing economy in China as the sharing of human and physical resources on digital platform, like ride-sharing and space-sharing, but also specific skills, like tutoring.

In 2017, revenues are expected to hit about RMB5.70 trillion (about $915 billion), up 44% from 2016’s total.

The September report also offered insight into consumer attitudes about the sharing economy in China.

Attitudes Toward the Sharing Economy Among Internet Users in China, July 2016 (% of respondents)

About 40% of internet users in China surveyed in July 2016 said they thought the sharing economy enhanced the well-being of society. The most common response was that it promotes “proper allocation of resources,” which also seems to suggest a common good.

While a larger shift to the sharing economy may be a good ways off—a March 2016 report from Tencent Research Institute found just 1.6% of China’s GDP to derive from the sharing economy—there are some aspects of the niche economy that are, well, not so niche—according to Didi Chuxing7’s Q2 2016 survey, nearly 85% of those who live in Tier 1 cities in China use ride-hailing apps

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