China’s Rural E-Commerce and Gendered (Dis-)Enablement


Asia Institute Tasmania Public Lecture

Start Date

28th Sep 2017 5:30pm

End Date

28th Sep 2017 6:30pm


School of Humanities, Room 346, College of Arts, Law and Education, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries - E.; T. 6226 7851

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Presented by 

Dr Haiqing Yu, University of New South Wales

This lecture employs feminist political economy perspective to explore the connection between e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and gender in rural China. It discusses gendered engagement with and discourse of the new digital economy represented by Taobao villages, and asks: how has the success of rural e-commerce impacted on the evolving gender mandate and hierarchy in a competitive market economy in rural China? How do men and women respond to female role and participation in digital economic activities, especially since in the Chinese countryside gender defines relationship and hierarchies of subordination and domination? It argues that women’s socioeconomic enablement does not necessarily translate into cultural and political empowerment. The enabling potential of female entrepreneurship is tempered by traditional constraints on women and capitalist exploitation of their cheap, flexible, and docile labour.

About the speaker

Haiqing Yu is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Chinese Media and Culture in the School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research focuses on the “effect” and “affect” of digitally mediated social economy, social movements, and cultural transformation. It explores Chinese digital and informal economy, associations, and social activism; rural e-commerce and its impact on gender and ethnicity; social enterprise, digital economy, and disability; social media and Chinese diaspora. Her published works have also explored the implications of the Internet and mobile communication on Chinese journalism, youth culture/sexuality, HIV related health communication, and everyday life politics. Her publications include: Media and Cultural Transformation in China (Routledge 2009) and Sex in China (co-author with Elaine Jeffreys, Polity 2015). Haiqing is a CI in ARC DP170102176 “Digital China: From cultural presence to innovative nation”, with M. Keane, et al.; and ARC DP1092878 “Internet History in Australia and the Asia Pacific,” with G. Goggin, et al.