Original article

No more shared karaoke booths and massage chairs in China as Covid-19 takes the shine off sharing economy

May 29, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
In 2019 China's sharing economy was estimated to be worth 3.28 trillion yuan with around 800 million users and employees and 78 million service providers involved, according to China's 2020 Sharing Economy Development Report published by the National Information Center in March.

"The sharing economy requires people and properties to interact, share, and circulate. It integrates online [platforms] and offline ," said Wang Jianming, a professor at the Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, who specialises in consumer behaviour.

"Before the pandemic, consumers would choose sharing over owning because shared items were convenient and low in cost. But after the pandemic, safety and hygiene are the top concerns for consumers," said iiMedia's Zhang Yi.On March 15, China introduced its first national hygiene and safety standard for the shared bike industry, requiring that in the event of a public health emergency, bike-sharing firms must clean handlebars, baskets, and locks no less than once a day.

"The sharing economy has been the kinetic energy for China's economic development in recent years by optimising the use and allocation of idle resources and bringing great convenience to consumers," said Wang.

According to China's Sharing Economy Development Report, the overall growth rate of the sharing economy is expected to decline to between 8 and 10 per cent in the country in 2020, from 11.6 per cent in 2019 and 41.6 per cent in 2018."The battle against the pandemic is still ongoing, the overall impact on the economy is yet to show completely," said Yu Fengxia, deputy director of the Sharing Economy Research Centre under the State Information Centre, a government think tank, in a recent interview with state-owned Xinhua News.Some companies have already pivoted towards other industries.