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Rise of Platform Imperialism in the Networked Korean Society: A Critical Analysis of the Corporate Sphere

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image of Asiascape: Digital Asia

By employing political economy as an analytical framework, focusing on power relations between global forces and local forces in the realm of digital platforms, this study aims to develop a critical analysis of Korea’s platform technologies. It first identifies the major characteristics that signal the growth of digital platforms as a corporate sphere in which their operation is greatly defined by market forces. Then, it analyzes the nature of the development of local digital platforms in order to determine whether locally made digital platforms have controlled their own market and expanded in global markets. Finally, it investigates the ways in which US-based digital platforms have dominated or influenced the local market, constructing a new form of imperialism, which this article calls ‘platform imperialism’. For this reason, this study not only examines hardware architecture but also pays close attention to the commercial and cultural values embedded in digital platforms.

Affiliations: 1: Associate professor at the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University British ColumbiaCanada


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