Opinion\From Chinese press

Prudent approach to the new

China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-12 07:35

Prudent approach to the new

New tailor-made bikes by Ofo Inc are seen in Beijing, June 30, 2017. Photo provided to

Public opinion is split over the booming development of the short-time bike-hiring model, with some hailing it as a manifestation of the sharing economy and signaling a new direction for China's economy, while others have complained of the chaos caused by bikes left willy-nilly wherever the user feels like leaving them.

Likewise, the administrators of most big cities in China, seeing the popularity of the bikes, have adopted a receptive attitude toward the industry and sought to introduce measures to promote better management of it. But the authorities in some small cities are less tolerant of the burgeoning industry and are even trying to limit or suffocate its development.

However, as Premier Li Keqiang indicated, people should be tolerant toward new technologies and new things so that they have space to become new drivers of economic growth. And he got to the point when he said the authorities should hold an "inclusive and prudent" approach to the sector's regulation. The government should be cautious about intervening in a nascent industry in case it nips it in the bud with too much regulation.

Experience shows people usually have a conservative approach to new things and believe they are impractical or will be too disruptive to their way of life. For example, before the ride-hailing model proved successful many people held a skeptical and negative view of it. This was also the case with the short-term bike-hiring services.

It is expected that the digital era will give birth to more new business models that are unfamiliar to people. Without a tolerant approach to them, we would be unable to determine which might be beneficial. Any emerging technologies may bring us inconveniences in the beginning, and what we should do is work out ways to address them, rather than seek to stifle them in the cradle.



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