De-Westernizing Platform Studies: History and Logics of Chinese and U.S. Platforms

Mark Davis, Jian Xiao


The emergence of digital platforms has attracted considerable scholarly attention among media theorists. Yet, much of this scholarship has taken Western platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Uber, and so on, as exemplars. In this article, we seek to contribute to the project of de-Westernizing and reregionalizing Internet studies through an analysis of Chinese platforms. Seeking to avoid dichotomizing China and the West, we identify similarities and four overlapping areas of difference between U.S. Internet platforms and Chinese platforms that need to be accounted for as part of a project of de-Westernizing platform studies. Understanding such differences, we argue, is crucial given the hegemonic roles platforms now play in a multipolar world.


digital platforms, de-Westernization, China, hegemony

Full Text: