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Director of the Institute of China and Contemporary

Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences





In the 2010s, digital labor refers to searching for information on the Internet, posting and uploading photos. While these leisure activities are free, it resulted in user data that was tracked and collected by digital platforms. These “digital footprints” have become a commodity, which is then sold to advertisers and returned to the user in the form of targeted advertising.

Today, digital labor includes paid work – from developing an online product to delivering food to a client. The category of digital work also includes professions that are impossible outside the digital environment, such as online streaming.

Digitalization covers not only the industrial sector, but also agriculture, tourism, education, and culture. According to a series of reports, about 1.08 billion people (70% of the population) use the Internet in China. The number of Internet users worldwide reached 5.35 billion by the end of 2023, with Asia being the region with the most users, accounting for 55% of the total. By 2022 China’s digital economy reached 50.2 trillion yuan (41.5% of GDP). According to BFA Report, in 2022, the digital economy of 14 selected Asian countries was estimated to have reached $ 12.8 trillion (accounting for 38.5% of GDP).


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