Talking Platform Capitalism and Real Estate Tech at 4S in Sydney

RealTech and Foreign Real Estate Investment: ‘Risky’ East-West Cultural Asymmetries as Market Value and Extraction

Giulia Dal Maso, Western Sydney University; Dallas Rogers, University of Sydney; Shanthi Robertson, Western Sydney University

‘Platform capitalist’ models of value extraction are increasingly used by emerging real estate technology companies (RealTech) seeking to generate data through the facilitation of real estate transactions across spatial and cultural divides. This paper uses the case of RealTech company Juwai to contribute new understandings to how platform capitalism generates market value from specific and strategic productions of cultural knowledge and cultural asymmetries. The paper analyses a suite of textual and visual content produced on the Juwai platform in both English and Mandarin and targeted at both Chinese buyers and the Australian real estate industry.

The analysis outlines how this content differently positions culture as risk for Chinese investors and Western real estate professionals, thus producing Juwai’s value for both groups as a mediator of these risks. It establishes how Juwai’s business model, while reliant on the increasing power of Chinese transnational capital in global real estate markets, depends upon on a flattening of complex Chinese cultural practices and paternalistic representations of Chinese investors.

This analysis contributes new insights to the less visible forms of value extraction, drawn from cultural asymmetries, that are embedded within models of platform capitalism.

Session: Smart Sydney: Studying the Smart City in Sydney, by Sydneysiders

30th Thursday, 4:00 to 5:30 pm

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