Japan shuns sharing economy, but tech start-ups find a home

CircleCI chief executive Jim Rose (right) listening to Japanese entrepreneur Taro Kodama at a technology meet-up event in Tokyo. Japan is CircleCI's third-largest market, after the United States and Britain.
CircleCI chief executive Jim Rose (right) listening to Japanese entrepreneur Taro Kodama at a technology meet-up event in Tokyo. Japan is CircleCI's third-largest market, after the United States and Britain.PHOTO: CIRCLECI

Japan has been criticised for not embracing the sharing economy, but it is drawing attention among venture capitalists, investors and tech start-ups as the new frontier market for other innovations.

While Airbnb last month had to scrap thousands of bookings that ran afoul of a new home-sharing law and Uber has struggled to gain a foothold in Japan for its ride-sharing business, other start-ups in technology development have made inroads into the world's third-largest economy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2018, with the headline 'Japan shuns sharing economy, but tech start-ups find a home'. Print Edition | Subscribe