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Co-evolution of technology and rural society: The blossoming of taobao villages in the information era, China

Zhou, Jing, Yu, Li ORCID: and Choguill, Charles L. 2021. Co-evolution of technology and rural society: The blossoming of taobao villages in the information era, China. Journal of Rural Studies 83 , pp. 81-87. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.02.022

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Over the last decade, more than 3000 villages (known as Taobao villages) in China have achieved significant economic growth due to e-commerce. The changes in these villages represents a new development path that is distinct from that of the traditional Chinese villages. This paper examines this growth experience, arguing that the ‘blossoming’ of the Taobao villages is essentially the result of the interaction and co-evolution of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and China's rural society. This study will be based on case studies of three Taobao villages. As ICT and e-commerce are embedded in rural society, the potential of existing organizations and skills in the countryside can be fully explored through synergy. This research finds that with the accessibility of China's huge online market for rural products, the traditional weak rural economic organizations in Taobao villages are gradually evolving into strong economic organizations, which have greatly enhanced their capacity to adapt to the flexible demands of the online economy. It is found in the research that the co-evolution of ICT and rural society are still in the development stage, which can have broad and profound impacts on the future transformation of rural China.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0743-0167
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 18:20

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