Troubleshooting the Underlying Problems in China's Sharing Economy: A Comparative Study of OFO and Ucommune

Yigui Sun

Student thesis: Master thesis


Over the past two years, sharing economy has quickly gained popularity and the concept has widely spread in China. However, due to various reasons, many subsequent problems have occurred and the growth of this sector is therefore undermined. With the aim to oversee all latent problems and develop potential countermeasures, this paper seeks to provide an overview of the entire causal effect relationship in retrograde and troubleshoot the underlying problems. And, by undertaking a comparative study between two companies with some distinct characteristics, this study is dedicated to locate and identify the potential elements that have been undermining the sustainable business development of firms in the particular sector of sharing. The theoretical framework in this paper will provide conceptual understandings of sharing economy and is accompanied by aspects of innovation and business model. Also, the analytical body will adopt the approach of a root cause analysis which verifies the aspects from the theoretical underpinnings and traces back the origin of the entire causal effect relationship. The elements that ultimately affect China’s sharing economy should thus be viewed at both the surface level (problems) and the in-depth level (root causes). The result of the analysis and relevant findings indicate that changes in business model constitute considerable possibility in extending the lifespan of sharing economy businesses. Particularly, endorsing the creation of more diversified values to a broader sphere or community and cooperate with institutional bodies may be a feasible alternative to sustainability for firms to follow instead of the currently popular yet unsustainable bike-sharing model.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages88
SupervisorsPeter Ping Li