Sharing Economy: A Hoax or What?
“Sharing isn’t new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club—these are not revolutionary concepts.” – The MIT Press
Sharing economy has been a hot topic in the last couple of years. From ride-sharing, food delivery, to spending a night in someone’s apartment, many sharing economy based startups rise and become a global player, including Uber, AirBnb, and more. These companies reach a global success both in fame and wealth, but not so much for their compliance efforts when it comes to meeting local regulations.
Take Uber for example, since its launch in Taiwan (where licensed yellow cabs are everywhere) in 2013, Uber has been in disputes with local regulators regarding the legality of its registration as an internet / software service company, as opposed to a transportation service provider. Taiwanese Uber drivers do not have a professional license like regular yellow cab drivers and can be dangerous and put passengers at risk. Moreover, with its disguise as a software company, Uber is unregulated, uninsured, and untaxed like any legal transportation service provider.
“In any case, a big part of the debate of the sharing economy is the state of existing regulations…here are two competing views here. One is that the regulations we have are mostly beneficial to customers and well-crafted, and where improvements need to be made they should be done within the existing regime. Technology and the sharing economy are simply profiting by dodging these good laws that protect consumers, and should be aggressively prevented from doing so.” – Forbes