[Editor’s Note. The following, and rough, translation of the National Development and Reform Commission Guide was edited on March 4, 2017 following Jamie P. Horsley‘s insightful comments ]
The National Development and Reform Commission of the PRC has published an opinion-solicitation draft of the “Guide on Developing the Sharing Economy”. Comments are to be sent to the Commission by March 6, 2017 (link here).
The Guide sets forth the broad principles that will regulate the development of an entirely new sector of the world economy, one which by definition knows no geographical limits. Generally speaking, in its current version the Guide already brings a meaningful contribution to the making and/or evolution of transnational regulatory standards. My comments on the Guide will be published very soon.
The Chinese version of the Guide and a very rough English translation are posted below.
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Guide to Developing the Sharing Economy
(Draft for soliciting opinions)
The sharing economy is a new industrial format and a new industrial model produced by the revolution in science and technology and by industrial transformation.Speeding up development of the sharing economy can effectively improve the efficiency of resource allocation, and it has a major significance in structural reforms to boost the supply side, implementing and innovation-driven development strategy, further promoting mass entrepreneurship, mass innovation, fostering a new momentum in economic development.In recent years, the sharing economy, has developed rapidly in China, showing great vitality and potential.But at the same time, there are also several problems as a lack of unified awareness, unsuitability of systems, imperfect guarantees. Many localities and departments still have doubts and concerns about the sharing economy, and the development of the sharing economy is facing many challenges. The present Guide is enacted to enhance preventive guidance, optimize the development environment, promote the development of the sharing economy.
1. 【Basic Meaning】Sharing economy mainly refers to the optimized allocation of dispersed resources through the use of network information technology and the Internet. It is a new pattern to improve the efficiency of resource allocation. It is speeding up and driving change in asset ownership, the organization of production, service supply, employment models, consumption patterns, and it represents a new direction of development for the present and the near future. .
2. 【Main Features】The sharing economy emphasizes the intensive use of resources and credit constraints, promoting the concept of collaborative production and on-demand use. It emphasizes elasticity in matching the supply and demand sides, it realizes a timely, precise and highly effective encounter between supply and demand. It stresses the deep integraton of consumption and production, it forms a developmental model in which all participate and from which all benefit.
3. 【General Idea】With supporting innovation and entrepreneurship development as the core, according to the principle of “inclusive innovation, prudent regulation and strengthening guarantees”, allow and encourage all kinds of market entities to actively explore new models and new formats of the sharing economy.Speed up the creation of a policy environment that meets the characteristics of the sharing economy, and further enhance the inclusiveness and flexibility of policies, strengthen guidance according to categories, reduce barriers to entry, safeguard fair competition and improve the level of “pipe service” and lower the policy risks for the sharing economy.Encouraging innovation of supervision models, guide and support the pioneering implementation and trials in those areas and industries where conditions exist.
4 【Market Entry】Fully consider share the characteristics of cross-border integration of the sharing economy, to avoid using old methods to manage new industrial formats, and get rid of trade barriers and geographic boundaries.Reasonably define the properties of the sharing economy in different industries, management according to classification, and avoid adopting across the board solution.One must adhere to the bottom line of thinking, and severely regulating entry conditions to those industriies and models involving safety of life and property, social stability, cultural safety, financial risk.Eliminate the administrative permits, business registrations etc. that limit the development of the sharing economy, further relax those conditions limiting market entry of resource providers.Strengthen the launch of policies by departments and localities, develop a coordinated and cohesive guidance to the industry.
5. 【Supervision Mechanisms】 Government departments must tolerate innovation, perfect industry guidance on the sharing economy, making full use of technologies such as cloud computing, Internet of things, big data, innovate the means of network businesses supervision, strengthen ex durante and ex post supervision. Explore the implementation of integrate offline and online management, strengthen the construction of a platform to supervise network transactions, perfect supervision mechanisms relevant to developing the sharing economy.
6. 【Innovating Governance】Explore the consgtruction of multi-stakeholders governance mechanisms coordinating government, enterprise platforms, industry associations, resource providers, with the participation of the public.Platform enterprise must strengthen internal governance and safety guarantees, reinforce their social responsibility, and strictly regulate their activities.Industry associations and social organizations must promote the launch of industry service standards and self-regulation codes, and vigorously develop channels of participation and governance from resource providers and the public, and perfect supervision by society.
7. 【Public Service】 Vigorously promote open government data-sharing and the openness of public data sources, enhance service efficiency and reduce service costs. Fully consider the developmental needs of the sharing economy in the planning and onstruction of public infrastructure.Vigorously promote sharing government’s public service resources, and increase the supply of public services. Encourage the sharing of instruments, equipment, expriment platform, research results, information and other innovation resources by enterprises, universities and research institutionsImprove government procurement policies, increase the government’s purchasing power of products and services from the sharing economy, widen the demand for public services.
8. 【Credit System】 Enthusiastically develop a national unified platform on credit information, the use of the national enterprise credit information publicity system and financial credit information database. Advance the seamless integration of all credit information platforms, break isolation of inforation, construct a cooperative, information-sharing mechanism between government and enterprises, fully use internet credit data, to complement the existing credit reporting system. Enthusiastically guide platform enterprises data monitoring, user evaluation, third party certification, third party credit evaluation and other means and mechanisms. Establish robust credit records of relevant subjects, strenghten identity verification, credit evalutation and credit management of resource providers, raise the capability to govern sources.Strengthen the online disclosure of credit histories, risk warning, information on misdemeanors and loss of credit according to the law, vigorously promote incentive to credit trustworthiness and joint discipline mechanisms of loss of credit.Platform enterprises must construct credit information preservation systems, and they have the duty to provide assistance in the enfrocement of punishments for loss of credit.
9. 【Laws and Regulations】Assess and improve existing laws and regulations’ relevance to the reality of the development of the sharing economy, strengthen the work of legal explanation and amendment, adjust current legislation and policy regulation on the development and management of the sharing economy. In the related legislative work, conduct planning according to relevant state strategic deployments and the developmental features of the sharing economy, strengthen the flexibility of systems and oversight.Research and enact management methods for the sharing economy according to needs, and in a prompt fashion.
10. 【Protecting Rights and Interests】 Severely crack down on leaking personal information, conducts that damage the interests of consumers, and guide enterprises to build up a sound consumer complaints and dispute resolution mechanisms.Encourage industry organizations’ exploration of the establishment a third-party platform for consumer complaints and rights protection, according to the law.Research the development of insurance policies suited to the features of the sharing economy, and enthusiastically use insurance and other market mechanisms to protect the rights and interests of consumers.
11. 【Labour Relations】Research how to perfect lively measures employees’ contribution to social insurance coherent with the features of the sharing economy, strenghten the protection of labourers’ rights and interests.Step up publicity to enhance employees’ awareness of self-protection.Implement relevant policies of support to entrepreneurship in accordance with regulations, towards platform enterprises who sign labour contracts with employees, flexible work that relies on platform enterprises, and freelancers.
12. 【Tax Policy】 Research how to perfect tax collection measures suited to the characteristics of the sharing economy. Strengthen the linkages between tax institutions and platform enterprises, accelerating the integration of online and offline management.Promote the use of electronic invoices, continuously improve the informatization level of tax service.
13. 【Statistical Monitoring】Establish a sound system of statistical data and evaluation indicators on the sharing economy. Fully use big data and other information technologies to innovate methods of statistical survey, promote sharing statistical data among government departments, collect relevant data through multiple channels, perfect the assessment of statistical data, and scientifically evaluate the contribution of the sharing economy to increasing stability, promoting employment, raising revenues and expanding consumption.
14. 【Responsibility of Agents】Scientifically and reasonably determine the responsibilities and duties of platform enterprises and resource providers according to the different forms and characteristics of the sharing economy, and clearly define accountability standards and the range of responsibilities. Research how to establish a mechanism to coordinate due diligence by platform enterprises and their immunity from liability.Platform enterprises must establish relevant rules, strictly enforce examination of network agents, protect the rights and interests of consumers, strengthen the protection of personal information and network data, enthusiastically assist the government in supervision and enforcement.Resource providers must comply with information disclosure duties, enthusiastically assist rights holders and cooperate in relevant investigation.
15. 【Safety and Order】 On the basis of encouraging an effective market competition in the sharing economy, strengthen monitoring and prevention of monopolitistic practiced by platform enterprises, guide the orderly development of the sharing economy, and create a fair competition environment for all kinds of subjects.Promote the innovation and use of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property involve in the shared economy, increase the efforts to combat piracy.Enhance awareness of safety, strengthen safety management and protection.
16 【Accelerating Implementation】All localities and departments must earnestly strengthen research on the sharing economy, actively explore practices, use methods which are in line with local circumstances, to constantly improve the development environemnt, and pragmatically push for a rapid and healthy development of the sharing economy. The national development and Reform Commission in conjunction with the relevant departments, relies on “Internet +” Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference system, sets up the Advisory Committee on the Sharing Economy, strengthens coordination of the sharing economy, clarifies the lead departments and the responsibility of subjects, performs timely assessments to solve problmes in monitoring, advances prooposals of rationalization.