Caixin
Jun 04, 2021 05:10 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

China Calls 8 More Sharing-Economy Companies on the Carpet

What’s new: China’s market regulator called eight more sharing-economy companies on the carpet Thursday, warned them against unclear pricing and ordered them to enhance compliance awareness and standardize pricing and competitive practices.

The companies include three bike-sharing platforms — Alibaba-backed HelloBike, car-hailing giant Didi Chuxing's bike-sharing arm Qingju and Meituan — and five companies that rent power banks, or portable electrical charging devices for cell phones.

The companies were told to make rectifications according to pricing and anti-monopoly laws and submit a report within 30 days, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said.

It was the second such order for sharing-economy companies in less than a month. On May 14, the SAMR and the transport ministry summoned executives of Didi Chuxing, Meituan and eight other leaders in on-demand transport and ordered them to halt practices ranging from arbitrary price hikes to unfair treatment of drivers.

The background: After aggressively expanding market coverage through low prices, bike-sharing platforms and power bank rental companies are under pressure to make profits. Complaints about price increases and unclear pricing have emerged this year. Some power bank rental companies charge different fees at different times during the day and prices at different locations of a city also vary.

China’s sharing economy is expected to grow 10%–15% in 2021 from 3.38 trillion yuan ($527.7 billion) in 2020, according to a report on by the State Information Center.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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