The human cloud in China: An early inquiry and analysis

In this paper we examine the current HC industry in China and compare it with the western HC industry. We are seeking to understand the limitations of Chinese HC growth - and the comparison helps sharpen this inquiry. We begin with an overview of the academic literature and the latest industry statistics, including data from the key Chinese HC platforms. Our methodology focused on exploring this new terrain: we examined the platforms and culled data from their published statistics and from studying their processes; we went through the process of placing work or bids; we examined secondary sources, such as user discussions about these platforms; we visited news sites, and we had some opportunistic email communication with sellers. Two key conceptual issues are identified from our analysis: First, task types are quite different in the Chinese HC. Second, trust/fraud issues drive many of the differences in Chinese HC versus western HC. We then propose a theoretical model for further study.


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The human cloud in China: An early inquiry and analysis
Carmel, E., Hou, C. and Olsen, T. (2012), 'The human cloud in China: An early inquiry and analysis,' 5th annual SIG GlobDev Workshop.


  • Research publication, Case study-worker
  • China
  • Yes
  • professional services
  • Online contestant specialist work
  • Zhubajie, TaskCN, Epweike,, Vikecn
  • work organisation, tasks, worker demographics
  • English
  • SIG GlobDev Workshop (Research institute)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2012
  • Subscription
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