Creatives in Cyberspace: Local Amenities for the Agglomeration of Creative E-Freelancers in China

Authors: Jinliao He*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Economic Geography, China
Keywords: creative occupations, cyberspace, e-freelancers, location choice, urban amenities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The melding of the cyber economy and the creative economy promises the emergence of a new occupation termed “creative e-freelancer.” This flexible occupation presents renovated modes of business operation and culture production, manifesting the very nature of the spatial reconfiguration of the new economy under the formation of cyber technologies. This article attempts to investigate the location dynamics of the migration of the creative witkey (e-freelancers) in China with an amenity-based approach. Based on an extensive dataset for over 600,000 witkey in China, the multivariate analysis yielded highly significant results and are qualitative interviews supported these findings. Although there exists an evident “placelessness” feature in the group of creative witkey, it is suggested that the creative cyberspace economy is not simply a dispersed production system but rather a sort of agglomeration economy. Nevertheless, an apparent recentralization force is found in the process as these amenity-rich cities in China are outperforming the megacities benefited by size effects. In particular, creative e-freelancers place an increasing interest on local amenities such as pleasant nature and life quality, entrepreneurship milieus, leisure opportunities, and depth of the talent pool. A considerable number of the creative witkey in China are motivated to immigrate to these warm areas in south China while fleeing the polluted north regions. This article advances the discussion of the creative occupations and provides a combination for broader themes regarding the creative cyberspace economy.

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