WeChat and Migration Infrastructure, the case of Siberian

All Abstracts > WeChat and Migration Infrastructure, the case of Siberian

WeChat and Migration Infrastructure, the case of Siberian

Authors | Affiliation:
Natalia Ryzhova | Yandex University; Yulia Kodzhaeva | Yandex University

Presenting at:
3C | WeChat and Chinese diaspora


Despite the growing attention to digital platforms in migration studies, their role is not well understood, especially in informal, precarious labor markets. The importance of such understanding is caused by two multidirectional trends. On the one hand, states are increasingly using various digital technologies for top-down control of migrants, thereby perpetuating an unfair distribution of power. On the other hand, migrants often use digital platforms and applications to facilitate mobility and adaptation in the host country, thereby influencing the redistribution of power from dominant (often Western) groups to more vulnerable, precarious, subordinate ones.

In our paper, we aim to compare the role of such a digital platform as WeChat for the migration of Chinese and Russian precarious migrants to Russia and China accordingly. The comparison allows us to reveal that the WeChat design and the government regulation associated with it allows Chinese users to benefit from the opportunity to accumulate market power. WeChat enables Chinese labor migrants to live their own way of life and stay in better connections with homes but “”coerce”” Russian labor migrants to live in the world “”the Chinese way,”” and as a result, their social ties to their homeland are weakened.

About the authors


Email: –

RYZHOVA Natalia and KORESHKOVA Yulia, Palacky University in Olomouc (https://sinofon.cz/)

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