Organised Informality and Suitcase Trading in the Pearl River Delta Region
Hung,Eva P.W.1; Ngo,Tak Wing2
Source PublicationJournal of Contemporary Asia
ISSN17527554 00472336
AbstractSuitcase trade is a common activity along state borders in Asia. Existing scholarship has often viewed such suitcase trade as locally embedded activities characterised by informality. This article contends that this perception underestimates the diversity and complexity of suitcase trade. This is illustrated with a case study of the Pearl River Delta region of southern China, where thousands of suitcase traders carry goods across the borders between mainland China and its two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao. Several patterns of operation run in parallel, ranging from petty traders working alone to highly-organised group operators. While each individual transaction is small scale and based on informal networks, the entire chain of operations is run by syndicates that are highly organised, commercial, with well-defined divisions of labour, and on a large scale. We describe such a combination of organisational competence and informal networks as “organised informality.” The concept allows us to expand the analytical horizon to cover those cross-border exchanges that incorporate modern commercial practices in otherwise non-formal settings. It also bridges the oft-criticised dichotomies of formal-informal and licit-illicit.
Keywordcheckpoint politics China cross-border exchanges Hong Kong Organised informality suitcase trading
URLView the original
Fulltext Access
Citation statistics
Cited Times [WOS]:3   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionUniversity of Macau
Affiliation1.Department of Social ScienceThe Hang Seng University of Hong Kong,Hong Kong
2.Department of Government and Public AdministrationUniversity of Macau,Macao
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Hung,Eva P.W.,Ngo,Tak Wing. Organised Informality and Suitcase Trading in the Pearl River Delta Region[J]. Journal of Contemporary Asia,2019,49(2):233-253.
APA Hung,Eva P.W.,&Ngo,Tak Wing.(2019).Organised Informality and Suitcase Trading in the Pearl River Delta Region.Journal of Contemporary Asia,49(2),233-253.
MLA Hung,Eva P.W.,et al."Organised Informality and Suitcase Trading in the Pearl River Delta Region".Journal of Contemporary Asia 49.2(2019):233-253.
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Related Services
Recommend this item
Usage statistics
Export to Endnote
Google Scholar
Similar articles in Google Scholar
[Hung,Eva P.W.]'s Articles
[Ngo,Tak Wing]'s Articles
Baidu academic
Similar articles in Baidu academic
[Hung,Eva P.W.]'s Articles
[Ngo,Tak Wing]'s Articles
Bing Scholar
Similar articles in Bing Scholar
[Hung,Eva P.W.]'s Articles
[Ngo,Tak Wing]'s Articles
Terms of Use
No data!
Social Bookmark/Share
All comments (0)
No comment.

Items in the repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.