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Day 2 13:30 Panel 13

Rural and Urban China

Coleridge Room

Liu Hong Yu;Wang Wen

Liu Hong Yu,

PhD student in Sociology, University of Cambridge

In 2015, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (PRC, hereafter China) Li Keqiang unveiled the ‘Internet Plus’ policy to include e-commerce as ‘a new engine for economic growth’ (GOV.CN, 2015). The platform economy in China is surging thanks to the development of computing power and information communication technologies (ICT) in recent years. In 2016, transaction volume of the e-commerce industry in China exceeded 20 trillion yuan, with 710 million Internet users and an Internet penetration rate of 51.7%. (GOV.CN, 2015) As of June 2017, three out of top ten global platform businesses come from China (Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu). Today, the platform economy has become a key economic pillar of China and a catalyst for its economic transition, from industrial economy to internet-based service economy.

This paper discusses the study of labour conditions in the gig economy in Shanghai. Beside of their job quality, this research project also interests in studying how platform labour resists to the algorithmic control, and the possibility to subvert the algorithm. The primary aim of this paper is to advance the socio-cultural understanding of labour conditions in China, especially at the low-skilled end of the spectrum in the labour market. Second, based on the empirical finding, this paper examines the relationship between algorithmic control and labour conditions in the gig economy, and how do they contribute to a new structure of working life. Ultimately, this paper hopes to argue whether or not the gig economy has made migrant workers in China more precarious in the labour market than before.

Wang Wen,

Beijing Technology and Business University

The process of public policy research attempts to answer the mechanism of action of the “black box of policy”. Multi-Streams Approach(MSA) examines policy processes from problem streams, political streams, and policy streams. In addition, it explores the relationship between agenda setting, alternatives, as well as public policies, and forms a Multi-Streams Framework (MSF) that can be applied to analysis in different policy areas. China's political system, social and cultural background are very different from those of Western countries and China's public policy change process has always been a concern for academics. This paper applies a modified Multiple-Streams Approach (MSA) to the the integration reform of China's Urban and Rural Residents' Basic Medical Insurance System, a typical Chinese policy project in the field of Social Insurance, explores the institutional change process of under the framework of multi-streams, discusses the explanatory power of this theory on China's public policy process analysis in order to fill the research gap in the existing research. The research shows that the integration of China's urban and rural residents' basic medical insurance system is the result of the problem streams, policy steams and political streams, verifying the MSA generally. In contrast, the assumption of independent multiple streams turns out to be less suitable for the case. These three streams are mutually influential rather than independent, and the political streams plays a vitall role as a bridge and catalyst. The difficulty of getting medical service and high cost of getting medical treatment was constructed for “system fragmentation”, "unfair", "urban and rural division". The policy entrepreneurs actively promote the problems into the policy agenda. The integration of China's urban and rural residents' basic medical insurance system can solve the above problems and correspond with the policy streams of urban and rural overall development, equalization of basic public services and universal medical care.

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