With the in-depth development of the digital economy, the platform economy has emerged.

The normative development of the platform economy is inseparable from effective governance. The traditional market failure problem has gradually emerged in the development of the platform economy. In addition, the uniqueness of the platform economy itself brings multiple challenges to governance.

  On July 28, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held a meeting to analyze and study the current economic situation and plan the economic work for the second half of the year.

The meeting pointed out that it is necessary to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the platform economy, complete the special rectification of the platform economy, implement normalized supervision of the platform economy, and focus on launching a number of "green light" investment cases.

  With the in-depth development of the digital economy, the platform economy has emerged.

The normative development of the platform economy is inseparable from effective governance. The traditional market failure problem has gradually emerged in the development of the platform economy. In addition, the uniqueness of the platform economy itself brings multiple challenges to governance.

Studying and judging the characteristics and governance problems of the platform economy is conducive to improving the level of governance and promoting the standardized, healthy and sustainable development of my country's platform economy.

  A new economic model in the digital economy era

  A platform is a form of business organization that uses network information technology to enable mutually dependent bilateral or multilateral entities to interact under the rules provided by specific carriers to jointly create value.

Platform economy is a new economic system based on digital technology, which is composed of data-driven, platform-supported, and network-coordinated economic activity units. It is a general term for various economic relations based on digital platforms.

The platform economy is a new organizational method of productivity and a new economic model in the context of the digital economy era. It has the following basic characteristics.

  First, the platform economy is a typical two-sided market, where platforms play the dual roles of market participants and organizers.

The platform organizes "bilateral groups" of merchants and consumers for interactive matching and plays the role of market organizer.

At the same time, as a market participant, the platform is an enterprise that operates independently and is responsible for its own profits and losses.

The dual roles make the platform a combination of two resource allocation methods, the enterprise and the market. The "invisible hand" of the market becomes the "visible hand" that pursues profitability under the conditions of the platform economy.

  Second, the platform economy is supported by new technologies such as information communication, big data, and artificial intelligence.

The platform fully applies ICT technology to reduce market transaction costs, improve production efficiency, and promote industry iterative upgrading.

In the era of the consumer Internet, the technical capabilities of the Internet are mainly reflected in the "connectivity", which enables information provision and matching.

At present, the proliferation of information technology is accelerating, data has become a new factor of production, and data and algorithms have become the new kinetic energy of platform economic growth.

  Third, the platform economy has strong network effects and cross-border network effects.

A network effect is when the value of a network product or service to a user depends on the number of other users of the same type in the network.

As a market transaction organizer, the platform gathers merchants and consumers, making the platform economy present a cross-border network effect, that is, the value of platform products or services to users depends on the scale of users on the other side of the platform.

For example, the more drivers there are on a car-hailing platform, the more valuable the platform is to passengers.

  Fourth, the platform economy has strong economies of scale.

The platform provides "intangible" products and services based on the Internet, and the operation is not limited by time, space, natural resources and other conditions, and has strong economies of scale.

The platform provides services based on the Internet, and has the characteristics of decreasing or even zero marginal cost, breaking the traditional "28 rule", so that the long tail market that has not been valued for a long time can also bring great benefits.

  my country's platform economic governance faces complex challenges

  The above-mentioned basic characteristics of the platform economy are intertwined with the problem of market failure, which determines that my country's platform economy governance faces complex challenges.

The traditional market failure problem also exists in the platform economy, which is embodied in the following aspects.

  One is monopoly.

In the platform economy, the forms of monopolistic behavior are more diverse and complex, and new forms such as data monopoly have emerged. The platform-related market definition, dominant position determination, and competition damage analysis are very different from traditional industries.

  The second is public goods.

The platform has a certain degree of non-exclusivity and non-competitiveness, and has the properties of public goods.

The platform aggregates service providers in the fields of people's livelihood, such as clothing, food, housing and transportation, which makes the platform's attribute of "public service provider" more prominent.

Most of the platforms are constructed and operated by private capital, and there is a certain conflict between private ownership and public goods-like attributes.

  The third is externality.

The platform is the embodiment of the market, and the market has changed from an "invisible hand" to an entity with interests, resulting in a series of externality problems.

For example, the platform excessively collects user data, leaks personal information, "information cocoon room", etc.

  Fourth, information asymmetry.

In the platform economy, the subjects involved in the transaction include platforms, merchants, consumers, etc., and the adverse selection and moral hazard problems caused by information asymmetry have new manifestations.

For example, big data is "killed" and so on.

  In addition, as a representative of emerging industries, the platform economy puts forward new requirements for governance concepts, governance subjects, and governance frameworks, which lead to the following challenges in my country's platform economy governance.

  First, multiple goals require updating the governance concept.

my country's platform economic governance has multiple goals, not only to promote innovation, but also to regulate development; not only to promote development, but also to focus on security; not only to promote the domestic development of the platform, but also to cultivate its international competitiveness, making it a national competition. The strategic force of new advantages.

However, the concept of inclusive and prudent governance has not been effectively implemented.

  Second, it is difficult for the governance subject system to adapt to the basic characteristics of the platform economy.

The platform is not only a profit-oriented business entity, but also provides a market transaction infrastructure. The conflict of interest between them has a large negative externality to the operators and consumers on the platform.

In addition, the platform economy has the characteristics of rapid innovation, continuous iteration of business models, huge user scale, and massive information and data. Therefore, new governance entities need to be introduced.

  Third, the current system of rules and regulations cannot effectively handle the various relationships in the development of the platform economy.

The core of emerging industry governance is to properly handle the relationship between innovation and governance, which can not only accommodate innovation to promote development, but also standardize development through governance.

The rapid iteration of platform economic business has led to the lag of relevant rules and regulations.

For example, how to adapt the anti-monopoly law and the anti-unfair competition law to the development of the platform economy; how to refine and implement the principled requirements of data security and personal information protection, etc.

  Fourth, the current governance tools are difficult to solve the new problems arising from the development of the platform economy.

my country's current governance tools are lacking, such as the lagging development of regulatory technology, the inability of anti-monopoly measures to adapt to the new characteristics of platform economic market competition, and the lack of effective coordination among governance tools.

  Fifth, the traditional judgment standards and regulatory methods of monopoly cannot fully meet the requirements of platform economic governance.

In the field of platform economy, market size is difficult to be used as a single criterion for judging monopoly, it is more difficult to judge the impact of platform economy on social welfare, and the identification of relevant markets is more complicated, which increases the difficulty of identifying monopoly position and the abuse of monopoly power.

  Five aspects to improve the level of platform economic governance

  Effective governance of emerging industries, including the platform economy, is an important issue facing my country to modernize its national governance system and governance capacity.

Starting from the promotion of the healthy and sustainable development of the platform economy, we should start from five aspects to improve the level of governance.

  The first is to promote the innovation and development of the platform economy, strengthen the cultivation of enterprise innovation, and create new advantages in national competition.

Pay attention to the healthy co-evolution of industry development and effective governance to promote innovation and standardize development; give play to the role of platform companies as a new generation of information technology innovation leaders to help the digital and intelligent transformation of the economy and society; cultivate and enhance platform companies' innovation and international competitiveness, Make it an effective part of the national strategic scientific and technological strength and create a new competitive advantage for the country.

  The second is to implement the new governance concept, build a multi-subject governance system, and build a collaborative governance pattern.

Implement the "inclusive and prudent" governance concept; build a cooperative governance system including the government, industry associations, platforms, merchants, consumers and other parties to discuss and build a shared platform for economic development; strengthen departmental coordination, improve cross-departmental, Cross-regional law enforcement linkage response and cooperation mechanism; improve social supervision, and establish a platform rule announcement and reporting system.

  The third is to innovate institutional rules, increase effective institutional supply, and adapt to the new requirements of platform economic development.

Improve the implementation rules of the Anti-Monopoly Law, accelerate the revision of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, and continue to improve supporting regulations; improve the market access system, fair competition review mechanism, and digital economy fair competition supervision system; For problems such as excessive mergers and acquisitions, special rules and regulations have been formulated.

  The fourth is to effectively identify competitive advantages and monopolistic behaviors, innovate anti-monopoly tools, and prevent disorderly expansion of capital.

Recognize that platform companies rely on the competitive advantages formed by compliant operation and technological innovation to effectively identify monopolistic behaviors that disrupt the market, strengthen anti-monopoly, and crack down on excessive mergers and acquisitions; improve relevant market identification rules, and improve platform companies. Monopoly in areas such as data, traffic, and algorithms Behavior identification standards and disposal rules.

  Fifth, effectively ensure platform enterprise data management compliance and data security.

Strengthen technical means and improve the level of regulatory technology; improve the platform enterprise data classification and grading compliance system, improve the platform enterprise data transaction management system, and standardize data transaction behavior; implement the Personal Information Protection Law, and promote platform enterprise data. Law enforcement in security and personal information protection, safeguard national information security, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

  (Author: China Academy of Science and Technology Development Strategy)