Rui Wang， Bohao Yu
“Movie clapper with Sharing Economy text on red background” by focusonmore.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The sharing economy, often referred to as “collaborative consumption” or “peer-to-peer sharing,” has indeed brought about significant development to the internet and the broader economic landscape. This economic model is based on the sharing of underutilized assets, usually for a fee or other form of compensation. Network-based convenience and operability make the sharing economy possible. Numerous platforms and apps have emerged, focusing on everything from ride-sharing (Uber, Lyft) and lodging (Airbnb) to tool rental, co-working spaces, and even fashion exchanges. These platforms serve as intermediaries that connect the owners of assets with those looking to use them. The development of these platforms has also ushered in new developments for the Internet.
Uber is one of the most prominent and influential examples of the sharing economy in action. The company has transformed the transportation industry by allowing private car owners to offer rides to passengers in exchange for a fee.
Uber operates on a platform model, where it connects drivers (service providers) with passengers (consumers) but doesn’t own any cars itself. This peer-to-peer model is a hallmark of the sharing economy.
Lime is another significant player in the sharing economy, focusing on micro-mobility solutions, primarily electric scooters and bicycles. Like Uber, Lime’s business model revolves around the sharing of underutilized assets, but with a distinct focus on short-term, short-distance transportation.
Using a mobile app, users can locate, unlock, and pay for Lime scooters or bikes. This digital platform connects available assets (scooters and bikes) with users who need them.
Airbnb is one of the pioneering platforms in the sharing economy, dramatically reshaping the hospitality and lodging industry. The company’s model, which allows homeowners or renters to lease or rent out their homes or rooms to guests, has brought about numerous implications and transformations.
Airbnb operates as a digital marketplace, connecting hosts with potential guests. The company itself doesn’t own the properties but serves as an intermediary, facilitating the booking and payment processes.
ProQuest (Firm) (Ed.). (2016). Sharing Economies. In John, The age of sharing (pp. lviii–lxxvii). Polity.