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China to Foster Healthy Development of Sharing Economy

The State Council, China's cabinet, announced its decision to facilitate the healthy development of the sharing economy on June 21, amid its efforts to boost mass innovation and entrepreneurship.

According to the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, to facilitate supply-side structural reform, it is important to adapt to the latest global technology and industrial revolution, push forward the sharing economy, strive for optimal allocation of resources using the Internet, reduce overcapacity and foster growth momentum.

China is pressing ahead with supply-side structural reform, which features cutting overcapacity, deleveraging, lowering costs, reducing inventories, and strengthening weak business links to generate sustainable long-term growth.

These moves can help mass innovation and entrepreneurship thrive, create more jobs and provide more diverse and efficient services at a lower cost, noted the statement released after the meeting.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to explore the sharing economy, while the authorities aim to adjust administrative approval and business registration procedures in light of new business models, it said.

Sharing, whether bicycles, automobiles, property or any other assets, has become popular in China, as people seek to make their lives easier and save resources.

Tax and welfare policies catering to the sharing economy will be studied and improved, and employment support for those self-employed in the sharing economy sector will be rolled out, noted the statement.

"Government procurement support for sharing economy products and services will also be strengthened," said the meeting.

The government will formulate new market entry and supervision regulations in a cautious manner, noted the statement.

The trading volume of the sharing economy in China more than doubled year on year to 3.45 trillion yuan ($505 billion) last year, according to a report released by the State Information Center.

The sharing economy will grow at an average annual rate of 40 percent over the next few years and will account for more than 10 percent of the country's GDP by 2020, the center predicted.

The meeting also decided to push forward the development of commercial endowment insurance and inclusive finance in China.

(Xinhua News Agency June 21, 2017)

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