How Does Foreign Company Achieve Success in Chinese Sharing Economy Market: The Case Study of Airbnb and Uber

Qingqing Xu

Student thesis: Master thesis


The thesis combines two themes: FDI and Sharing Economy, uses the cases study of Airbnb and Uber to analyze how foreign companies achieve sustained development in Chinese sharing economy market. Uber is the pioneer of global transportation sharing company; and it entered into Chinese market in 2013. Within 3 years, it experienced enter-in, growth and decline in Chinese market. Finally, it crashed in China, and sold its Chinese business to its local competitor DiDi Chuxing in 2016. Airbnb is the world's largest community-driven hospitality company, and it also the leader of sharing economy. On August 2015, Airbnb started its Chinese story. Different from Uber, Airbnb is localizing well and growing steadily now in China. Uber and Airbnb are both remarkable companies in the global sharing economy, however, they go to different destinations in Chinese sharing market. What accounts for this difference? How FDI achieve success in Chinese sharing economy market?
In order to answer these questions, the thesis analyzed Airbnb and Uber’s cases systematically. By combining Peng’s three perspectives with characteristics of sharing economy, the thesis builds its theoretical foundation. The thesis first analyzes opportunities and challenges for FDI in Chinese sharing economy market from political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Afterwards, the thesis explores driving forces for Airbnb’s sustained development, as well as discusses Uber’s failure based on primary data and secondary data.
General analysis and findings is summarized on table 5. The thesis provides some practical implications for other FDI to achieve success in Chinese sharing economy market.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages112
SupervisorsPeter Ping Li