Julie Yujie Chen is a Lecturer in the School of Media, Communication, and Sociology at the University of Leicester. Chen studies digital labour and examines how technologies, cultural contexts, and existing socioeconomic structures impact on the experience of digital work from the workers’ perspective. Her latest publication is Super-sticky WeChat and Chinese Society (Emerald Publishing Limited 2018).

Platform Economies: The Boss’s Old and New Clothes

The recent growth of China’s platform economy is jaw-dropping. What Chinese platform workers have experienced is the epitome of the intertwining transformations that digital technologies have engendered, not only in the Chinese economy and society, but also in global capitalism more generally. This essay argues that a better understanding of the situation of these workers will inform us about China’s economic conditions and provide a glimpse into the future of Chinese labour struggles.

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