Production of coworking spaces: Evidence from Shenzhen, China

Yiling Luo, Roger C.K. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the production of coworking spaces in Shenzhen, China. Coworking space is a global phenomenon that has been continuously growing since the late 2000s. From a user perspective, this phenomenon is mainly attributed to the increasing number of freelancers and start-ups seeking community and knowledge spillovers. From the supply side, the movement is believed to be integrated into the neoliberal urban development process. However, the burgeoning of coworking spaces in post-socialist China arguably deviates from the neoliberal model with its strong and direct state interventions, multi-faceted public–private relations, and considerable emphasis on social goods. The central state proposes an entrepreneurial policy and supports the production of coworking spaces as a spatial fix for the national economic transitional crisis, while the local state promotes local competitiveness. However, numerous founders of coworking spaces tacitly strive to maximize utilities in the national entrepreneurial movement. Inevitably, this movement leads to uneven distribution of social goods and quasi-coalition among techno-capital, real estate, and policy free-riders. With the aim of understanding the complex development of entrepreneurial spaces, this study investigates co-working spaces using interviews with managers, entrepreneurs, and experts in Shenzhen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalGeoforum
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Coworking space
  • Entrepreneurial policy
  • Shenzhen
  • Spatial fix

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