Human Cloud (HC) is an internet-enabled business innovation (HC is similar to the more common term, crowdsourcing; both of these terms are defined below). HC is growing rapidly in American and Europe. Separately—and away from the radar screen— HC is also growing very rapidly in China, primarily in Chinese language websites. Like its western counterparts, Chinese HC is also in its early stages. For example, the first Chinese Witkey and Crowdsourcing Conference was held in Guangzhou China in 2010. The three major HC platforms in China are Zhubajie, epweike and TaskCN, each with millions of workers. In this paper we examine the current HC industry in China and compare it with the western HC industry. We are seeking to understand the limitations of Chinese HC growth -- and the comparison helps sharpen this inquiry. We begin with an overview of the academic literature and the latest industry statistics, including data from the key Chinese HC platforms. Our methodology focused on exploring this new terrain: we examined the platforms and culled data from their published statistics and from studying their processes; we went through the process of placing work or bids; we examined secondary sources, such as user discussions about these platforms; we visited news sites, and we had some opportunistic email communication with sellers. Two key conceptual issues are identified from our analysis: First, task types are quite different in the Chinese HC. Second, trust/fraud issues drive many of the differences in Chinese HC versus western HC. We then propose a theoretical model for further study.
Carmel, Erran; Hou, Chaoqing; and Olsen, Tim, "The Human Cloud in China: An Early Inquiry and Analysis" (2012). GlobDev 2012. 7.