Trapped in the platform? Migration, precarity and resistance in China’s platform-based gig economy


Zhou Yang
This study looks at precarity among gig workers. It shifts the attention away from labour process factors to explore the role of the wider social, cultural and institutional environment in the precarisation of platform workers. Whereas existing western-centred studies in this aspect argue that platforms reproduce racialised and gendered hierarchies to leverage control over vulnerable populations, this ethnographic study draws on the case of Didi to show how similar factors and dynamics play out in non-western, Chinese context. The project further explores how these social, cultural and institutional factors paradoxically give rise to gig workers’ solidarity and resistance, especially through the use of digital technologies.