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Therapy Made Easy

E-Commerce and Infrastructure in China’s Psycho-Boom
p. 29-39


In China, the rise of e-commerce has made significant impacts on a broad range of business and professional fields; psychotherapy, a profession born of the recent “psycho-boom” (xinli re 心理热), is one of them. This article, using materials collected from interviews, participant observation, and media accounts, delineates the development of Jiandan xinli (简单心理), a Beijing-based startup that features an e-commerce platform for psychotherapy services, and explicates how and why it has achieved enormous initial success. Drawing on the insights of anthropological studies of infrastructure, it argues that the platform can be conceptualised as an example of “infrastructural entrepreneurship,” a business practice taking the construction of infrastructure—in this case, for the field of psychotherapy—as its primary mission.

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Bibliographical reference

Hsuan-Ying, « Therapy Made Easy », China Perspectives, 2017/4 | 2017, 29-39.

Electronic reference

Hsuan-Ying, « Therapy Made Easy », China Perspectives [Online], 2017/4 | 2017, Online since 01 December 2018, connection on 18 March 2019. URL :

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About the author


Hsuan-Ying Huang is Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong.Room 322, New Asia Humanities Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T. Hong Kong (

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