A Revealing “Confession” or Another Publicity Stunt? Reflections on Social Media Entrepreneurship on Weibo
The rise of capital alliances and persistent state governance have profoundly shaped social media entrepreneurship in China. Through a qualitative analysis of 294 confession posts on Weibo, this study explores the self-disclosure of Chinese bloggers’ entrepreneurial experiences. Considering Foucault’s contention on confession, I argue that this wave of blogger confessions reflects bloggers’ submissions to the Chinese digital creative industry. Boggers’ confessions are essentially scripted performances to construct an image of a diligent, self-enterprising entrepreneur to legitimize their growing profit motives. In their confessions, Chinese bloggers exhibit what I refer to as neo/non-liberal entrepreneurial subjectivity that embodies neoliberal entrepreneurial principles and market rationality while aligning with state governance. These bloggers fail to resist state governance and the precarity caused by China’s digital creative industry. Instead, they attempt to harness positive energy and attribute entrepreneurial failures to a lack of personal competitiveness. Chinese bloggers have largely internalized the risks associated with social media entrepreneurship, rendering them precarious laborers in the industry.