Focused issue on the new era for the digital ecosystem: strategy and theoretical development

Published 28 October, 2022


The COVID-19 pandemic increased the dependence of people on online resources and accelerated the process of digitalisation and digitisation. Digital platforms are growing rapidly, playing a pivotal role in restoring the economy. For example, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, China's digital economy in 2021 accounted for 39.8% of GDP. The US and China share about 90% of the market value of the world’s largest digital platforms. The competitive advantage of enterprises is no longer based on competition between individual firms or products, but between industrial chains, platforms, alliances, innovation networks and ecosystems. Digital platforms have transformed the landscape of various industries and the way that international business is conducted. Digital platform ecosystems and strategies, along with their role in the economy and society, have been drawing global academic attention.

This special issue welcomes general research examining the status quo of digital platforms and digital ecosystem strategies. The implications for developing countries, e.g., their ability to compete globally, are also of interest.

Topics covered: 

  • Thorough reviews on the topic of existing digital platforms
  • Theories for the construction, expansion and evolution of digital platform ecosystems
  • The mechanisms of value creation and appropriation of digital platforms
  • Qualitative approaches for studying digital platforms and measurements for the economic and social value of digital platforms and the digital economy
  • Configuration of the digital value chain
  • In-depth case studies of the global top digital platforms, e.g., Apple, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Google, Tencent and Alibaba
  • Business model innovation of digital platforms and leading companies in the digital value chain
  • Application and extension of institutional theory in the digital ecosystem context
  • Regulation of cross border data flows in the global digital ecosystem and their implications for international business
  • The impact of internationalisation and the global expansion of digital platform companies on the development of global ecosystems
  • The development of country multinational enterprises to integrate with global digital ecosystems and their subsequent impacts
  • Solutions to digital divides in digital ecosystems
  • Governance of digital ecosystems: governments vs. self-regulating digital platforms
  • The design and implementation of relevant policies and legal frameworks

Important deadlines:

  • Submission deadline: rolling submission
  • Accepted manuscripts will first be published in a regular issue, before being included in an article collection once the required number of articles has been reached.

Submission instructions: 

Please read the Guide for Authors before submitting. All articles should be submitted online; please select The new era for the digital ecosystem on submission.

Guest Editors: 

Jizhen Li

Tsinghua University, China. Email:

Jizhen Li is Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM). Jizhen is also the Associate Dean of Tsinghua SEM and  Vice Director at the Research Centre for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University. His research interests include digital transformation, management of technological innovation, strategic management and innovation policy. As Principal Investigator, he has finished many projects, including six research projects funded by NSF of China. His research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Information and Management, Journal of Management, Management Science, Research Policy, R&D Management, and Strategic Management Journal.

Si Zhang

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Email:

Si Zhang is Associate Professor in Management Science at the School of Economics and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, where she teaches and researches technology economics, international development and international business. She obtained her PhD degree in Economics from the University of Reading, UK, and worked as a post-doc researcher in Tsinghua University. She has published in a variety of journals, including Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, R&D Management, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management.


  1. Boudreau, K. (2010). Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control.Management Science, 56(10), 1849–1872.
  2. Cao, R., Iansiti, M. (2022). Digital transformation, data architecture, and legacy systems. Journal of Digital Economy, 1(1), 1-19.
  3. Chan, J., Ghose, A. (2014). Internet’s Dirty Secret: Assessing the Impact of Online Intermediaries on HIV Transmission. MIS Quarterly, 38(4), 955–975.
  4. Cusumano, M. A., Gawer, A. (2002). The elements of platform leadership. MIT Sloan Management Review, 43(3), 51-58.
  5. Gomes-Casseres, B. (1994). Group vs. group: How alliance networks compete. Harvard Business Review, 72(4), 62-67.
  6. Hagiu, A., Wright, J. (2015). Marketplace or Reseller?, Management Science, 61(1), 184–203.
  7. Jha, S. K., Pinsonneault, A., Dubé, L. (2016). The Evolution of an ICT Platform-Enabled Ecosystem for Poverty Alleviation: The Case of eKutir. MIS Quarterly, 40(2), 431–445.
  8. Moore, J. F. (1993). Predators and prey: a new ecology of competition. Harvard Business Review, 71(3), 75-86.
  9. Moore, J. F. (2006). Business ecosystems and the view from the firm. Antitrust Bull., 51(1), 31.
  10. Porter, M. E., & Strategy, C. (1980). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York: Free Press.
  11. Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. New York: Free Press, 43, 214.
  12. Rong, K. (2022). Research agenda for the digital economy. Journal of Digital Economy, 1(1), 20-31.
  13. Shi, Y., Gao, Y., Luo, Y., & Hu, J. (2022). Fusions of industrialisation and digitalisation (FID) in the digital economy: Industrial system digitalisation, digital technology industrialisation, and beyond. Journal of Digital Economy, 1(1), 73-88.

Back to Call for papers

Stay Informed

Register your interest and receive email alerts tailored to your needs. Sign up below.