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      Platformization of the Unlikely Creative Class: Kuaishou and Chinese Digital Cultural Production

      1 , 2

      Social Media + Society

      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          This article studies the platformization of cultural production in China through the specific lens of Kuaishou, an algorithm-based video-sharing platform targeting second- and third-tier cities as well as the countryside. It enables the forming of an “unlikely” creative class in contemporary China. Kuaishou’s platform business fits into the Party State’s socio-economic agenda of “Internet+” and “Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation,” and is also folded into the state’s demand for cultural censorship and social stability. As we will show, this state-commerce relationship largely shapes Kuaishou’s interface and its affordances as encoded in its algorithm. Nevertheless, Kuaishou enables the diverse, often marginalized, Chinese living outside the urban centers of the country to become “unlikely” creative workers, who have become self-employed creative, digital entrepreneurs. For these “grassroots individuals,” creativity, life, and individuality are constantly mobilized and calculated according to the workings of the platform. This grassroots entrepreneurship, in tandem with the institutional regulation and censorship of the Internet, contributes to the transformation of Chinese economy and the production of social stability and a digital culture permeated with contingency and negotiation.

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          The romance of work: Gender and aspirational labour in the digital culture industries

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            The platformization of cultural production: Theorizing the contingent cultural commodity

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              Connect With Your Audience! The Relational Labor of Connection

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Social Media + Society
                Social Media + Society
                SAGE Publications
                2056-3051
                2056-3051
                October 2019
                November 21 2019
                October 2019
                : 5
                : 4
                : 205630511988343
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Groningen, The Netherlands
                [2 ]University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                Article
                10.1177/2056305119883430
                © 2019

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