01 | 2016 | Sharing Economy

In this issue of German Chamber Ticker, we will take a closer look at how collaborative consumption influences China. Proven experts in their fields will analyze how a peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding revolutionize the Chinese finance industry, why car sharing especially in China is so successful and what the essential requirements for sharing economy are. We hope that you enjoy reading!

Ms. Alexandra Voss - GCC North China | Executive Director


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Cover Story 1 - The Perfect Playground


A Look at the Different Approaches to the Digital Sharing Economy in China and the West


The ‘sharing economy’ is an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The general principle of sharing under-used assets, especially those with high costs, has been around for centuries. Since the advent of successful and scalable internet companies, the potential is bigger than ever.


Cover Story 2 - Smart Access



How the Sharing Economy is Evolving


Our economy in general is built on the principle of scarcity – only products and services that are scarce have an economic value and a price to be paid for them. In the past, nearly all business models operated on the principle of scarcity, identifying the optimal price for goods and finally selling the ownership of products that we intend to use.    

Naturally, the “ownership” is also a burden for the buyer – it comes with a substantial financial commitment (e.g. for an car or an apartment) and/or an emotional attachment (e.g. a house inherited from the parents). Therefore, sharing models for cars or holiday homes were established decades ago.


Cover Story 3 - Internet of Things


What's Next in Connectivity?


Smartphones are everywhere in China. 86% of Chinese consumers own a smartphone, the highest percentage globally. What's more, over half of Chinese adults check their smartphone between 11 and 50 times per day. Smartphones have shifted from useful tools to comprehensive information centers crucial to daily life. But could they soon be replaced?     

Smartphones have taken over the role that the PC claimed a decade ago, that of a general-use data tool. However, five years from now, emerging Internet of Things (IoT) devices may in turn erode the smartphone's importance. Innovations in hardware and connectivity that increase speed and efficiency will always tempt consumers to get their hands on the latest, greatest tools of the never-ending digital revolution. So, despite the prevalence of smartphones, are IoT devices the next big thing?


Cover Story 4 - Peer-to-Peer Lending on the Rise in China


Developing Regulations and Infrastructure


Internet finance has recently begun to have presence in China’s financial market and has already had a substantial impact on China’s financial landscape. Yu’ebao, for example, is a money market fund with an internet payment function. It claims deposits with market interest rates and in 2015 it became one of the largest money market funds in the world, just two years after its launch. It has also noticeably accelerated the deregulation process for interest rates (especially deposit interest rate deregulation) in China, which was basically completed in 2015.


Cover Story 5 - Instant Automobility


Mr. Rainer Becker on Car Sharing in China


For this special Sharing economy issue, German Chamber Ticker reached out to someone with over 18 years experience in the automotive industry: Mr. Rainer Becker, CEO of car2go China Co. Ltd to discuss car sharing in China. Car sharing offers people instant automobility and is ideal for those who only occasionally use a vehicle. They rent cars for short periods of time, by the hour or the day. car2go is a mobility service offered by Daimler AG in now 31 cities, serving more than 1.1mn members. It is the first free-floating car sharing system in the world without fixed rental locations and has set up a new segment: smart fortwo cars that can be rented anywhere and at any time. Vehicles can be located, booked, and used spontaneously via smartphone app or the internet portal.


In the Spotlight: Companies are the Life Blood of our Vocational Training System


Interview with the German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka


During German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka’s recent visit to China, German Chamber Ticker had the opportunity to discuss with her educational topics such as the Pro Recognition Program, vocational training and other related issues.



Feature 1 - Legal Update

New Legal Developments of Chinese Law


With the amendment of the PRC Company Law, which took effect on 1st March 2014, requirements on registered capital were relaxed for companies in China including foreign invested enterprises (“FIEs”). The requirements on minimum registered capital were abolished, the two year deadlines for capital contribution no longer exist and the requirements on a minimum cash contribution of 30% were also abolished.


Feature 2 - How E-learning is Changing the World


A Global Overview and Zoom into China


E-learning is a global phenomenon that gives us all unprecedented opportunities to learn virtually anything, in very new ways. To understand what's happening in China in this area, it's important to take a look at what's happening globally.

The e-learning market has been growing rapidly in the past five years, exceeding USD 100bn in size globally according to Global Industry Analysts. Fueled by strong venture capital investments, a number of business models have emerged with growth expected to continue for years to come.


Feature 3 - Trademark Disputes with Squatters


Register your Brand in China


The trademark application volume in China continues to increase rapidly. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has announced that 2.1mn single-class trademark applications were received in China in the first nine months of 2015, an increase of 37% compared with the same period in 2014.    

Unlike other countries, where trademark rights are based on use, Chinese law does not recognize or protect a trademark unless it is registered with the Chinese Trademark Office. Because the trademark application in China follows the principle of “The earlier the application is submitted, the earlier it is granted,” there is no common law protection for unregistered trademarks in the PRC, except possibly for well-known brands. 


Feature 4 - Enabling Business Success


Martin Ecknig on Corporate Real Estate in China


Corporate Real Estate (CRE) is covering the real estate matters for cooperations of different sizes including: the location selection, the rental or construction of buildings and the operation. At the end of the life-cycle it also focuses on the renovation or disposal. German Chamber Ticker spoke with Mr. Martin Ecknig, head of Regional Area Business Administration of Siemens Real Estate Asia-Australia, who is based in Shanghai and manages over 300 locations in the region, and around 40 factories and 80 office buildings throughout China.


More than Business 1 - Share to Care, Care to Share

Making Collaborative Consumption More Social


"Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. […] And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening." (Tom Goodwin)    

More and more companies are getting rich by providing resources they do not own. Sharing economy means making money by making connections, by matching people with needs and those with something to offer. The main job is customer service. According to the online community The People Who Share, the sharing economy is “a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human and physical resources.” More and more things are offered to share: cars; train, tram or bus rides; food; lodging; couches; gardens; tools; skills and much more. There are few boundaries to what can be lent or borrowed.


German Chamber Ticker Editorial Team


Olivia Helvadjian

Senior Communications Manager & Chief Editor

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