Zhejiang’s Digital Dream
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this chapter is to show how digital transactions are relevant to the modernization of commerce in China, and in particular how China’s e-commerce platforms are targeting territories along the Belt and Road Initiative. The nomenclature, sometimes referred to as One Belt One Road, describes the overland corridors that connect Western China with Europe via Central and South Asia, known as the Silk Road Economic Belt-and the maritime routes that are intended to link China’s southern provinces to Southeast Asia and beyond, encapsulated by the concept of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Our focus, however, is not Xi’an, traditionally regarded as the Chinese gateway to the overland Silk Road Economic Belt, or Quanzhou in Fujian province, once an entry point to what is now the Maritime Silk Road, but three linked hubs in Zhejiang province: the metropolis Hangzhou, the port city Ningbo and the county level city Yiwu. This is a story of Zhejiang’s digital dream: how the province has moved from basic manufacturing to value-added services. While many provinces in China now claim a stake in the BRI project, we argue that Zhejiang is uniquely positioned as a digitally enabled province. It is home to China’s largest internet telecommunication company, Alibaba, whose data assets, logistics and internet finance services are the model for the next stage of the Chinese economy. This chapter considers how digital transactions are transforming the fortunes of a province in China, well known for its manufacturing expertise. It looks at three cities in Zhejiang that collectively provide the infrastructure to connect China’s businesses to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) nation states throughout Eurasia. The chapter argues that e-commerce, now a driver of China’s economic transformation, is central to Zhejiang’s ‘digital dream’. It shows how digital transactions are relevant to the modernization of commerce in China, and in particular how China’s e-commerce platforms are targeting territories along the BRI. The chapter discusses how the efficacy of digital transactions is understood according to platformization terminologies, namely ‘digital economy’, ‘platform economy’ and ‘platform capitalism’. It considers some Chinese uses of the term ‘platform economy’. The chapter focuses on the relation between physical infrastructure and digital platforms, emphasizing the need to reconsider the role of logistics.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Keane, Michael ; Yu, Haiqing (2019)In this article, we use the example of e-commerce giant Alibaba and its outbound activities in the Asia-Pacific to illustrate how China’s digital platforms have become part of a “digital empire in the making.” The article ...
Keane, Michael; Wu, Huan (2018)This article surveys the internationalization of China’s leading digital communication and entertainment companies, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, and their strategic acquisitions, both domestic and international. The article ...
Nie, Katherine Su (2007)Numerous popular business publications and academic literature have highlighted that the Chinese cultural phenomenon of guanxi has made noticeable impacts on the economic efficiency in China’s economic transition. Despite ...