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Pandemic strengthens China’s platforms as infrastructure providers

After strict lockdown measures went into place in China, nearly all commercial activity shifted online. E-commerce expanded its reach in the form of rural live-streaming (村播): farmers-turned-online-hosts selling fresh produce and the nostalgia of the countryside to tens of millions of urban consumers glued to their smartphones at home. The exchange is simple. Using apps[…]

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The bio-surveillance state: an emerging new normal in Asia

When economic activity gradually resumed in China in mid-February, Chinese residents returned to a “new normal” under a strict surveillance infrastructure. They have their temperatures taken and personal information logged as they enter office buildings, residential communities and large commercial venues. And their freedom of movement depends on an app called Health Code (健康码), which[…]