Dr Tom McDonald awarded Faculty Outstanding Research Output Prize

Dr Tom McDonald has been awarded the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Outstanding Research Output Prize (Basic Research) for his journal article “Alipay’s ‘Ant Credit Pay’ meets China’s factory workers: The depersonalisation and re-personalisation of online lending“, published in the prestigious Journal of Cultural Economy.

His paper (co-authored with Li Dan) examines Chinese migrant factory workers’ encounters with Ant Credit Pay, Alipay’s novel consumer credit facility (which utilises the Zhima Credit scoring system) and argues that acknowledging Ant Credit Pay’s combination of depersonalising and re-personalising qualities is essential to analysing digital credit as a human-machine assemblage.

Tom McDonald

The paper emerges from Dr McDonald’s recently completed Hong Kong Research Grants Council funded Early Career Scheme project, Digital money and migration in China: Contemporary monetary practices and imagined economic futures.

The Journal of Cultural Economy is a leading scholarly journal that is concerned with the role played by various forms of material cultural practice in the organisation of the economy and the social, and the relations between them. It offers a unique interdisciplinary forum for work on these questions from across the social sciences and humanities. These include, but are not restricted to, the contributions of governmentality, pragmatism, narrative analysis, actor network theory and science and technology studies and associated debates about valuation, measurement, performativity and performance in economy, culture and society.

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