theDesk story

How do businesses benefit from the sharing economy in Asia

Share this article on

A survey by Pew in 2015 suggested that only 27% of Americans had heard of the term sharing economy. So what is sharing economy and who benefits?

Sharing economy seems to be an umbrella term with a range of different meanings, often used to describe economic and social activity involving online peer-to-peer transactions. The open-source community was the first group to adopt peer-to-peer based sharing of access to goods and services. Nowadays the term is used in a broader sense to describe any online market place sales transactions, even ones that are business to consumer (B2C), rather than peer-to-peer. This is the reason why the term sharing economy has been criticised as misleading. Publishers such as The Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times have argued that “sharing economy” is a wrong and inaccurate name. Harvard Business Review suggests that the correct word for the sharing economy in the broad sense of the term is “access economy.” The authors say, “When “sharing” is market-mediated — when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other — it is no longer sharing at all. Rather, consumers are paying to access someone else’s goods or services.”

The sharing economy – or also referred to as collaborative consumption – can take a variety of forms, including using information technology to provide individuals with information to optimise resources through the mutualisation of excess capacity in goods and services. A common argument is that when information about goods is shared, the value of those goods may increase for the business, for individuals, for the community and for society in general.

During the panel discussion topics that we will explore:

  • What is sharing economy in Asia
  • The business challenges companies are facing in Asia
  • How to cope with these challenges in Asia

Kenneth She – General Manager, Uber Hong Kong
Kenneth oversees operations for Uber in Hong Kong, ensuring that no matter where you are in the city, you can push a button and get a ride within minutes. Kenneth joined as the first member of Uber in Hong Kong in early 2014, and under his leadership the business has grown exponentially to now serve tens of thousands of riders and drivers every day. In his role, Kenneth also works closely with local organisations, universities, and the tech and startup community to promote social innovation in Hong Kong. Prior to Uber, Kenneth was an investment banker, first starting at Bank of America Merrill Lynch then at CLSA, covering real estate, gaming, and the education industry. Kenneth graduated from Oxford University with a Master’s degree in engineering, economics, and management. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kenneth is a local foodie with a strong passion for coffee and cha chaan tengs and loves jamming with his friends on his guitar in his spare time.

Thomas Hui – Co-founder, theDesk
Before starting theDesk Thomas co-founded Gaowen Consultancy and Kicers Group in China. Kicers is better known for developing Bridge8 in Shanghai, a 600,000 square feet area for the creative industry in China. Prior to theDesk Thomas worked for 20+ years in banking, finance and management consulting and has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Hong Kong and Master of Science in Finance from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

By invitation only. To attend please email with:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Company name

Tuesday 15th November 2016, 6.30pm-9pm.

Share this article on
Share this article on

Popular articles