Sharing economy is the wrong term - real sharing doesn't involve profit - but the term is used to describe aspects of collaborative consumption. Korea has two forms - an essay by Emily Hong.
Korea’s two “sharing economies” are moving in opposite directions. One operates at the microscale, comprised of dedicated individuals applying sharing principles to build communities in Seoul. Their operations are on the fringe, generating just enough revenue to keep the services alive. The other is increasingly capitalistic, driven by global flows of money and people.
Yet, despite their divergent paths, these two movements continue to be lumped under the same term: sharing economy. For its part, Airbnb, chafing under the confusion and baggage increasingly accompanying the term, has also become wary of the label “sharing economy.”
However, the term is being formalized elsewhere. A “sharing economy” caucus has sprung up within the U.S. House of Representatives, and as a “Sharing Economy” trade body was recently set up in the U.K. Korea, for its part, is also sticking with the term “sharing,” or gongyu (공유), to refer to both Airbnb- and ShareHub-type sharing.
All this begs the question: What, if anything, do these two forms of “sharing” have in common?