Digital entrepreneurship in Taiwan and Thailand: embracing precarity as a personal response to political and economic change

Wing-Fai Leung, Alberto Cossu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
555 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines the significance of digital entrepreneurship in East Asia as informal work, based on empirical research in Taiwan and Thailand. Digital entrepreneurs in East Asia can be thought of as a new class of ‘creative workers’ who aspire to the neoliberal ideals of the West that advocate free markets and individualism. While digital entrepreneurship offers low-cost opportunities, it also represents highly precarious careers. The transition to the digital economy also means the expansion of the informal economy, which has existed in both Taiwan and Thailand. The encouragement of start-up ecosystems by respective political and economic elites serves to sweet-talk the creative class into participating in precarious work, or it may be an open bid to gain market share by incorporating informal businesses. In response to the theme of the special issue, this article discusses two contrasting cases and considers the significance of digital entrepreneurship as informalisation of work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-280
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date6 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • digital economy
  • digital entrepreneurship
  • informal economy
  • informalisation
  • neoliberalism
  • precarious workers
  • start-ups

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