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Tech For Good? Platformizing China's Nonprofit Sector Through Crowdfunding

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In the digital age, non-government organizations (NGOs) are increasingly dependent on digital platforms for service delivery and fundraising. This trend leads to concerns regarding the impact of digital platforms' economic, governmental, and infrastructural reach on the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, a phenomenon that may be termed "nonprofit platformization." Employing a longitudinal mixed-methods approach, this study examines the evolution of Tencent's crowdfunding platform from 2015 to 2021 to understand its role in transforming China's civic sector. The findings reveal how this unique "nonprofit platformization" initially provided grassroots organizations with alternative funding sources, thereby fostering civic sector’s diverse growth. However, over time, it became dominated by government-backed NGOs.

Wenjuan Zheng is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Before joining HKUST, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center, and a MA at Columbia University. Her research interest lies in the intersection of civil society, organizational studies, and technology, focusing on contemporary China. Her research examines organizational resilience in the global context of adversity. She is interested in how nonprofit organizations anticipate and respond to political adversity and market intervention. One of her recent studies delves into the unexpected repercussions that accompany the expansion of platform capitalism into the civic sector.

This free public lecture is part of the Global Chinese Philanthropy Research and Training Program and made possible with the support of the Cyrus Tang Foundation.



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Duration: 00:58:51


Please upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5 audio or install Flash.

Audio MP3 Download Podcast

Duration: 00:58:51

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