This thesis examines the role WeChat plays in the life experience of Chinese international students in Metro Vancouver, Canada, focusing on the use and development of ride-hailing platforms from July to November 2018. By following WeChat-based underground ride-hailing using multi-sited ethnography (Marcus, 1995) and interviewing students working as drivers and using these services, this thesis conceptualize WeChat as an assemblage (Slack, 2012) that combines infrastructures, networks, ideas and spaces, rather than another imported social media application hindering their acculturation. This thesis examines students' economic and social practices in replicating a digitally-connected "Chinese" lifestyle in Canada through "shanzhai-ed" platforms on WeChat, which are shaped and restricted by local media discourses and regulations, including BC's long-existing yellow peril discourse (Deer, 2006). Examining ride-hailing as part of the assemblage, this thesis showcases the entanglement of these students' lives with technologies, social networks, labour and spaces in the local negative discursive and regulatory environment.
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McAllister, Kirsten
Member of collection