Emerging cooperative responses to gig economy in Asia

News | 27 September 2017

On September 19, Professor Jack Qiu from the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong was a speaker at the ILO’s RESEARCH Department seminar series in Geneva. The session, titled “Reflexive Actions Within and Beyond the Gig Economy” was chaired by ILO’s Cooperative Unit Manager.

In his presentation Dr Qiu presented some of the findings from three research projects on the gig economy. The first project focused on transportation and food delivery platforms in mainland China, while the second one highlighted experiences of platform cooperatives and other alternative community-oriented platforms in Hong Kong. As his third set of examples he looked at online labour platforms in Vietnam and Singapore.

The chair of the session posed questions to Dr. Qiu regarding: the necessary preconditions for community based cooperatives and other solidarity based initiatives that are emerging in the platform economy; emerging strategies among gig economy workers that may be making use of technology in strategic ways; and the role of international solidarity initiatives such as ethical consumption and fair trade. During the subsequent exchange Dr. Qiu indicated that a platform cooperative meeting will take place on September 28-29 in 2018 in Hong Kong titled “Repurposing the sharing economy: Platform cooperatives as the remedy”.