This article analyses Chinese women's e-entrepreneurship of trading nostalgic and/or contested goods in the disputed sovereign borders and virtual marketplace in the borderland between China and Taiwan. Using physical and digital ethnography, and drawing on the case study of the journey of chicken feet and other goods traded through WeChat by Chinese women in Taiwan, this article shows how the online and offline trails of these goods and the virtual marketplace generate new forms of transnationalism and connectedness between the two rivaling societies. Calling attention to Chinese women's emotions and nostalgia embedded in their e-entrepreneurship, their goods’ geographical movements, and their social networks, these findings enrich our understanding of transnational entrepreneurship as well as migrants’ agency-making and digital connectivity. However, highlighting how the worsening Taiwan-China relationship has diminished micro e-entrepreneurship, this article also reveals the vulnerability, instability, and uncertainty of the virtual marketplace, which is threatened by the politics of sovereignty contestation.
Beatrice Zani is a research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Interdisciplinary Unit for Economic Sociology (LISE), France. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0968-4368; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabelle Cockel is a senior lecturer in East Asian and International Development Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Her research focuses on marriage migration and guest worker systems in East Asia with reference to citizenship, activism, social media, labor rights, sovereignty, and health examination. She is currently Secretary-General of the European Association of Taiwan Studies. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0009-9048-8436; Email: email@example.com