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Govt issues new specification for shared accommodation sector

By ZHENG YIRAN | | Updated: 2018-11-15 20:36
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Photo taken on Nov 6, 2018 is an apartment in Tianjin. [Photo/IC]

A service specification for China's shared accommodation industry was issued on Thursday, as the country steps up efforts to address problems in the booming sector.

The service specification, the first of its kind in China, was introduced by the Sharing Economy Research Center with the State Information Center. It raised service standard to address the problems in the industry, which are also public concerns, such as check-in identity verification, housing information review mechanism, health service standard, user information protection system, blacklist sharing mechanism, as well as use of smart security devices.

Yu Fengxia, deputy director of the Sharing Economy Research Center, said: "The government currently has raised new requirements for the supervision mechanism of shared accommodation. We need to offer guidance to the industry, based on the combination of the service specification and enterprise practices."

Xu Changming, deputy director of the State Information Center, said: "In recent years, driven by technology innovation and the government's favorable policies, the country's shared accommodation industry is evolving fast, and the development mode is gradually maturing. There is huge potential lying in the sector. I hope the service specification can boost the healthy development of the shared accommodation industry, as well as serve as a reference for the other sectors in the sharing economy industry."

Statistics from the Sharing Economy Research Center showed that in 2017, the turnover of the country's shared accommodation accounted for 7.3 percent of the whole accommodation industry, growing at a rate of 65 percent, while the growth rate of the traditional accommodation industry was only 4.2 percent.

In addition, in 2017, the trade volume of China's shared accommodation industry was 14.5 billion yuan ($2 billion), surging 70.6 percent year-on-year. It is estimated that by 2020, the trade volume will reach 50 billion yuan.

Four leading enterprises in the sector, namely Xiaozhu Inc, Airbnb Inc, and, signed the commitment contract of the service specification, vowing to follow the rules to promote the sustainable development of the industry.

"The government should offer guidance on the development of the shared accommodation industry, the service platform should improve their efficiency and permit standard, and shared accommodation enterprises should also play an active part," said Cai Hong, director of the Department of Tourism Management of the Capital University of Economics and Business.

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