The Numbers That Make China the World’s Largest Sharing Economy

The Numbers That Make China the World’s Largest Sharing Economy

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Worldwide, the sharing economy is enormous. Peer-to-peer transactions have transformed commerce, making more goods and services available to consumers at lower prices. According to policy expert James Pennington, China is the biggest and fastest adopter of the shared-asset business model. Yet some government leaders question its social costs to communities. getAbstract recommends this brief but thought-provoking text to readers interested in this burgeoning aspect of the new economy.


The sharing economy, operating via digital architecture, enables individuals to rent their assets directly to peers. The business model allows for rapid growth, and its trajectory has skyrocketed since 2007. A case in point: Hilton Hotels built 600,000 rooms over a period of 93 years, while Airbnb has made that number of rentals available in a mere four years.

The sharing economy is especially popular in China, whose major cities are fertile ground for peer-to-peer services. These transactions are adding to the country’s rising internal consumption, which accounted for approximately two-thirds ...

About the Author

James Pennington is a project specialist at the World Economic Forum.

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