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The social side of e-commerce - lessons from rural China

Every year, for the foreseeable future, another 30 million Chinese will go online to shop, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report. Pushed by a government-subsidised rollout of internet – and poor bricks-and-mortar retailers – China could become the world’s biggest e-commerce market within four years.

And while you’d imagine the online revolution taking hold largely in China’s eastern metropolises, it is also in some of the remotest locations, like a number of villages and counties in the Zhejiang Province, that e-commerce is being used to better the lives of the most digitally excluded segments of society. Dr Barney Tan explores the social side of e-commerce in his latest research.


Podcast

Listen to an interview about the study with Dr Barney Tan to learn more.

Published work

Tan B, Pan SL, Lu X and Huang L 2015 'The Role of IS Capabilities in the Development of Multi-Sided Platforms: The Digital Ecosystem Strategy of Alibaba.com', Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol.16:4, pp. 248-80