How far can chicken feet travel? The transgression of contested sovereign borders and Chinese women's e-entrepreneurship between Taiwan and China

Beatrice Zani, Isabelle Cockel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
JournalTransfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Borderland
  • e-entrepreneurship
  • market
  • sovereignty
  • WeChat

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