Structural Holes in the Multi-Sided Market : A Market Allocation Structure Analysis of China’s Car-Hailing Platform in the Context of Open Innovation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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  • Lei Huang
  • Yandong Zhao
  • Liang Mei
  • Zhihua Zhao
  • Yijun Mao


Original languageEnglish
Article number5813
Journal / PublicationSustainability
Issue number20
Online published19 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



Car-hailing platform governance is an emerging topic of research and practice. The governance of the data-driven platform economy is challenging the research paradigm of competition regulation in the context of open innovation. This research is trying to reveal the market allocation structure of China’s online car-hailing industry from the perspective of personal data allocation by the study of Application Programming Interface (API) of sample platforms. On the basis of the networked nature of personal data allocation via APIs, this research constructs a mathematical model of the edge weight of data resource connections between platforms. Furthermore, this research optimises the structural hole analysis of complex networks to discuss the state of personal data resource allocation in China’s car-hailing industry. Results reveal that there are obvious structural holes within the sample network. When compared with related indicators, we found that accessing personal data resources is an essential component of the sample network competition capability and sustainable innovation. Social media platforms and online payment platforms more greatly impact car-hailing platform competition than other types of platforms within the multi-sided market context. This research offers a research perspective of personal data allocation for further study of competition, regulation and sustainable innovation of data-driven platform economies.

Research Area(s)

  • multi-sided market, market allocation, competition, structural hole, platform economy, sustainable innovation, open innovation

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