Perhaps China is not where “sharing economy” originated, but it sure is one of the countries that has experienced its fullest development and obtained the widest acceptance. In a matter of years, the model has been truly embraced in the Middle Kingdom, growing from a fringe concept only recognized by China’s tech-savvy youth to an economic powerhouse that’s reshaping traditional industries.

The peer-to-peer nature of the rental economy combined with fast innovation, high smartphone penetration, widespread mobile payment, and a dense population, and users who are more open to the idea of “sharing” rather than “owning” stuff, have all added to the success of the rental economy in China. In addition to average users and tech companies, the government is also engaged in the development of this sector, which is seen as a major driver for its economic growth in the future.

The sector’s transaction volume grew 103 percent YoY to RMB 3.45 trillion ($503 billion) in 2016, according to a report from China’s State Information Center. The report expects the size of this field to grow by 40 percent annually in coming years, accounting for over 10 percent of domestic GDP by 2020, and that the ratio will continue to grow to roughly 20% by 2025.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.