Executive Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun called for a rethinking of the sharing economy concept, noting that current business models used by some online platforms do not seem to work well in Hong Kong, hk01.com reports.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Law, who also heads the Hong Kong Science Park, cited the case of the car-hailing firm Uber, which she said has not been able to become a truly fair business model as its drivers ply their trade in an unregulated way and present an unfair competition to licensed taxi drivers.
She also mentioned the short-term lodging rental platform Airbnb, which she said has worsened the housing shortage in the city because landlords lease their properties to tourists with a higher premium rather than renting them out to local residents in need.
Law said players in any market system should think about how they can use their resources effectively for the benefit of everyone.
She urged corporations to take the initiative and rethink how the sharing economy could work better as the concept has encountered different problems when applied in different places.
The various experiences of businesses in applying the concept of the sharing economy can become constructive inputs for the government to act on and make the system better, she said.
Law said the Science Park is receiving a lot of feedback from companies on the complicated procedures of recruiting overseas talent.
She said Hongkongers should not be afraid of the city’s labor market being opened to foreigners. Instead of looking at foreign talent as posing unfair competition, locals should welcome them because talent will attract more investors and help boost the economy.
Law also addressed complaints about the newly established Innovation and Technology Bureau, particularly allegations that it has not done any significant changes in society despite having been around for two years.
She said everyone should be involved in Hong Kong’s development in the field of innovation, including the market, talent and capital.
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