The sharing economy exploded in China this year, with companies for all kinds of shareable objects taking part in this new business model. While there are businesses familiar to Westerners—shared offices, cars and rides—there are also ideas that seem a little kooky, such as shared basketballs and umbrellas. Although some call it innovative, many realize these companies are just “rental 2.0” companies, assisted by digital technology. As the concept reaches fever pitch, however, it is also facing a reality check, especially as many firms, ballooned by venture capital funds, start to show signs of failing.
Four-year-old online vacation rental site Tujia, which is valued at $1 billion, offers Airbnb-like services with unique twists suited to the specific needs, wants and quirks of Chinese travelers.
The sharing economy has been threatening traditional industries in the West. Now it’s gaining a foothold in China.
How should would-be entrepreneurs scout for innovation opportunities? The key lies in finding industries with ‘friction’ and ‘information assymetry’.
Why own when you can share? Understanding the dynamics of the sharing economy which, by some estimates, will become a $115 billion industry by 2016.
Online to Offline commerce, or O2O, is being heralded as the next big thing in China’s e-commerce sector. Why is it so popular and who are the key players?