The article offers a timely study of the gendered experience of gig work in China and prioritises the nexus of an intersectional feminist approach to explore women workers’ situated problematics and precarious employment in ride-hailing platforms. Drawing on ‘chatnography’, conducted over a period of 17 months and semi-structured interviews with 30 women platform drivers, this article makes two important contributions to the robust scholarship of gender and precarious work in the gig economy. First, this research argues that gendered precarious work relations are still prevalent in China's on-demand economy, especially in male-dominated ride-hailing platforms. The patriarchal gender norms and oppressive work relations perpetuate gender inequality and women's oppression. On the one hand, women platform drivers experience gender discrimination from passengers, netizens and followers, male platform drivers, and algorithms. On the other hand, women platform drivers are subject to risks and women's health problems. Second, this study highlights women platform workers’ intersectional vulnerabilities and their resistance to precarious employment and argues that working-class, migrant, and single mothers are in the most perilous situation. This article proposes that platform co-operatives are an alternative organisation of the gig economy, which creates gender-egalitarian, democratic working conditions for platform workers, especially marginalised women workers, and calls for support, actions, and funding for platform co-operativism from international and local agencies, grassroots organisations, governments, universities, co-operatives, and active consumers.
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