Shoots of a “sharing economy” have been silently growing in the city, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
Good Lab, a shared work space founded two years ago to enable young people to develop their creativity, is one of the forces leading the city toward a sharing culture, which could range from lifestyle to living space and dining, the newspaper said.
Ada Wong, founder of Good Lab, said it has 200 members who share office space, with different businesses each renting just a desk in an open space that creates a sense of community and provides opportunities to brainstorm ideas with others.
The Occupy movement in Hong Kong perfectly showcased the sharing culture among youths in the city, Wong said.
Protesters created a shared study space at the street occupation in Admiralty. It expanded from just one desk at the beginning to 10, she said.
The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council is another group that is applying the concept of the sharing economy.
It has assembled a team of five to seven housewives who work part time as companions for elderly people who need someone to take them to outpatient clinics from time to time.
The companions are matched to their clients using a mobile app. About HK$200,000 (US$25,802) in revenue is generated each month, said Terence Yuen Yiu-kai, coordinator of the Centre for Civil Society Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Taipei and Seoul are successful examples of cities that have embraced the sharing economy, to the extent that city governments have introduced measures such as supplying free parking lots for vehicles in a car-sharing scheme.
Chow Sung-ming, an instructor in the department of applied social sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said Hong Kong needs to make more space for a sharing economy, an example of which is the dawn flea markets of the past, to develop.
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