Challenging digital capitalism : SACOM's campaigns against Apple and Foxconn as monopoly capital

Ngai PUN*, Tommy TSE, Kenneth NG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


‘Utopia or dystopia–to where will the “digital revolution” lead human society?’ is a question that remains unanswered. Negotiating between two opposing standpoints, this article, looking at a form of trans-border activism originally driven by suicides and protests of Foxconn workers who produce iPhones, iPads, and many other i-gadgets for the world's consumers, is an attempt to explore a politics of online and offline resistance against anti-digital capitalism. Based in Hong Kong (HK), SACOM is a leftist student group which works to support Chinese workers in campaigning against corporate power and generating trans-border networks through media exposure, international activism, and localized organizing. Combining online and offline activism, SACOM strives to extend the reach of their worker–consumer campaign to the worldwide audience by transgressing dominance of capital and political control of the Chinese state. The most intriguing question to us is could this proactive activism be possible and, if so, how could it act at the grid of China's transformation and incorporation into global capitalism?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1268
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number9
Early online date12 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work described in this paper is partially supported by both the General Research Fund (GRF), ‘Working-Class Public Spheres: Media and Activism Since ‘Foxconn Suicide Express’ (RGC Ref No.: 14612715) and the Collaborative Research Fund, RGC Fund (CRF), ‘Learning to Labor: Social Media and Migrant Labor Protection in Mainland China’ (RGC Ref No.: C5010-15G), Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


  • Apple and Foxconn
  • digital capitalism
  • labor
  • trans-border activism


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