The emergence of self-organizing e-commerce ecosystems in remote villages of China: a tale of digital empowerment for rural development

Leong, Carmen Mei Ling, Pan, Shan-Ling, Newell, Sue and Cui, Lili (2016) The emergence of self-organizing e-commerce ecosystems in remote villages of China: a tale of digital empowerment for rural development. MIS Quarterly, 40 (2). pp. 475-484. ISSN 0276-7783

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Abstract

The emergence of Alibaba’s Taobao (e-commerce) Villages in remote China has challenged the assumption that rural, underserved communities must always be the recipients of aid to stimulate ICT-enabled development. Based on an in-depth case study of two remote villages in China, this research note shows how ICT (e-commerce) can empower a marginalized community, giving rise to a rural e-commerce ecosystem that can aid self-development. We propose the concept of digital empowerment to explicate our findings in the exploration of community-driven development: first, we identify the critical actors of a rural e-commerce ecosystem and how ICT is used by them; second, we illustrate how the same ICT can be used for different affordances by the actors in the evolution of a rural e-commerce ecosystem. The paper also presents unintended consequences of rural e-commerce development. We conclude with suggestions on how to make ICT useful for rural development, and in doing this challenge some of the prevailing theoretical arguments about this process.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Susan Newell
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 10:45
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2021 11:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61365

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