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Farewell to Low Fees: What's Next For China's Sharing Economy?

Users must prepare for higher prices, but operators still have to justify them with improved services, writes China Youth Daily commentator

By Xu Mouquan Updated Jun.11

China’s sharing economy built a reputation on offering services at relatively low prices. Not anymore. Shared bikes are getting more expensive, with firms like Mobike and Hellobike raising fees from 1 yuan (US$0.16) an hour to 1 yuan every 15 minutes, China Youth Daily reported.
Writing for the newspaper, staff columnist Yang Xinyu said that as the sharing economy’s low-price era ends, users must prepare for a new supply-demand relationship and higher prices while operators should provide quality services worthy of those increases. 
Yang said many people took the low prices for granted while overlooking the reason behind them: Companies burned through cash as they vied with competitors for their customer base, an unsustainable business model in any industry. The companies that survived the scramble are ditching the approach for a more profitable model. 
The question now is whether users will continue to use the product despite higher prices, Yang wrote, adding that operators must justify the increases. Although a successful model, the shared economy now must follow up with expanded services – an even greater challenge than burning through cash, he said.