Ming-sho Ho is a Professor at the Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University, and the Director of the Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan). His research interests include social movements, labour, and environmental issues. He published Challenging Beijing's Mandate from Heaven: Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement (Temple University Press, 2019) and Working Class Formation in Taiwan: Fractured Solidarity in State-Owned Enterprises, 1945–2012 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Peddling the Revolution?

How Hong Kong’s Protesters became Online Vendors in Taiwan

Some former Hong Kong protesters who fled to Taiwan have resorted to selling local products online to Hong Kong-based consumers to make a living. This essay argues that these purchases become both an alternative form of financial support from Hong Kong’s politically conscious consumers and business transactions endowed with political meaning. Not without ambivalences, these online vendors sell more than products, but also a lifestyle, an identity, and a commitment—in short, a revolutionary dream at a time when street protests in their home city are no longer feasible.

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