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28 APR 2021 (WED) 17:30

Emerging economic geographies of FinTech


Meeting ID: 925 0214 9362

Password: 478622

All are welcome!


Dr Karen P.Y. Lai Department of Geography, Durham University

Karen Lai is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Durham University. Her research interests include geographies of money and finance, FinTech, service sectors and market formation, focusing particularly on financialisation, knowledge networks, and financial centre development. Her current projects focus on examining the global financial networks of investment banks and law firms in Asia, and the impacts of FinTech on reshaping economic practices and financial centre development. She is on the journal editorial boards of Geoforum and Geography Compass (Economic section), and the international advisory board of the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.


FinTech, a short hand for ‘financial technology’, has been making waves in the headlines in recent years. It encompasses a new wave of companies that are harnessing technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchains, and platform infrastructures to change the ways that businesses and consumers make payments, lend, borrow and invest. FinTech is being actively promoted in many international financial centres as presenting opportunities for capturing new markets and developing new capabilities to bolster their financial centre status, including Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Luxembourg. This seminar will highlight three aspects of how FinTech is reshaping financial practices, and their socio-economic and spatial outcomes. Firstly, FinTech is reconfiguring existing global production and financial networks, which requires a rethinking of what constitutes value and lead firms. Secondly, a notable increase in positioning financial practices as entertainment and play are pointing towards a ‘gamification’ of finance. The final strand focuses on the growing significance of Chinese firms in digital and financial innovations, and consider how they might be influencing wider FinTech ecologies.



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