Trends in the Digital Economy: Theory and Application

Guest editor(s)
Sang-Bing Tsai, Wei Liu, Xuefeng Shao,


Our society is undergoing a gradual transition from an industrial economy to a digital economy. It has been established that socio-economic development is not solely influenced by material inputs but rather by the application of digital technology and the development and utilization of information resources. In other words, the digital economy and digital technology have become the primary driving forces behind economic and social progress. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Digital Economy Report 2019, the global digital economy and the wealth generated by its activities are accelerating rapidly, with the digital economy estimated at 4.5% to 15.5% of the world's GDP and continuing to grow. Compared with the traditional economy, the digital economy exhibits very different characteristics and evolutionary patterns. Digital economies have been identified as economic activities in which digital information is viewed as the key resource, the Internet platform as the primary information carrier, and new business models as the expression. There are unique advantages to the digital economy, including improving information transmission speed, reducing transaction costs, and allocating resources precisely; however, it also challenges traditional economic theories in terms of defining concepts, assumptions, and premises, as well as research methodologies. Therefore, in order to adequately respond to the development trend of the digital economy, we need to reconsider the applicability of existing traditional economic theories to digital economy scenarios and the application of the digital economy.

Theoretically, although the digital economy has received considerable attention from scholars and has improved significantly, the theoretical research on the digital economy is still in the mapping stages. For example, digital technology promotes economic growth by reducing labor input, promoting capital accumulation, and increasing total factor productivity. However, we do not fully understand how digital technology improves production efficiency and production mode innovation. Furthermore, traditional economic theory regards economic factors as the core input for analyzing economic development and takes this logic as the basis for analyzing growth paths. It is important to note, however, that the economic development process driven by digital technologies involves not merely economic factors but also non-economic factors (historical information), which are often overlooked. In terms of application, the digital economy's driving mechanism, economic impact, and government governance also need to be explored, validated, and improved further. For example, although digital technology has been verified as an internal driver of the digital economy, market factors have not been given adequate attention as a significant driving force for the development of the digital economy. Moreover, there has also been few research on digital governance, despite scholars’ growing recognition of the monopoly problem caused by excessive concentration of digital capital; at the same time, current research on policy regulation of digital economy development primarily focuses on qualitative descriptions and policy recommendations rather than quantitative effect assessment. Therefore, this gives us an excellent opportunity to understand the theory and application of the digital economy more comprehensively and fill the research gaps through cross-fertilization among multiple disciplines.

This special issue not only seeks high-quality submissions that provide significant contributions, whether theoretical or empirical, to favor a better understanding of the theory and application of the digital economy through a multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and multilevel perspective but also encourages authors to provide policymakers and entrepreneurs with more practical implications and suggestions.



  • Digital economy
  • Digital technology
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Digital transformation
  • Digital governance
  • Digital regulation
  • Digital production elements
  • Digital information
  • Digital strategy
  • Digital drivers
  • Digital implementation


Submission Deadline:

31st March 2023


Guest Editors

Lead Guest Editor

Sang-Bing Tsai

School of Business, WUYI University - China

Email: [email protected]

ORCID: 0000-0001-6988-5829


Wei Liu

Qingdao University - China

Email: [email protected]

ORCID: 0000-0002-3044-9795


Xuefeng Shao

Newcastle Business School, The University of Newcastle - Newcastle, Australia

Email: [email protected]

ORCID: 0000-0002-1278-8398



Dr. Sang-Bing Tsai is currently the Professor at Wuyi University, China. He is both Technology Management and Business Management PhD. Dr. Tsai is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Organizational and End User Computing. He also is the Associate Editor for Journal of Global Information Management, as well as serving on the editorial boards of 20 other journals. His recent research interests in, Computer science, Big data and Applied Mathematics. He has well over 150 published peer-reviewed journal articles.


Dr. Wei Liu is currently the Distinguished Professor at the Business School, Qingdao University, which has ranked as a top 500 university worldwide. He is also duly elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Full Member of the Sigma Xi and Life Member of the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS). He received his Ph.D. in international business from the University of Sydney, a world-renowned university with a high

reputation, especially in international business research. Professor Liu’s current research broadly covers international business, corporate strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, and sustainable environmental management. Professor Liu has published numerous peer-reviewed articles that appeared in SSCI/SCI-indexed journals, including Technological Forecasting & Social Change (SSCI-Q1), Journal of Business Research (SSCI-Q1), Emerging Markets Review (SSCI-Q1), Finance Research Letters (SSCI-Q1), Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews (IF>10), One Earth (Cell Press), and others. In addition, he published a book titled “The Belt and Road Strategy in International Business and Administration”, which enriches the Belt and Road research from the international business perspective. Professor Liu has served as the Managing Editor for the Journal of Organizational and End User Computing (SSCI Q2), and guest-edited special issues for the International Journal of Technology Management, European Journal of International Management, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, and others. He also co-organised the conferences such as “One Belt One Road” and Corporation Globalization 2019 and served as the member in associations such as Academy of Management, Academy of International Business. Professor Liu has received a number of honors, awards and grants for his research, such as the First Author of “Hot Paper” and “Highly Cited Paper” in Essential Science Indicators (ESI), Academy of Management Annual Meeting GWU-CIBER Best Paper (Finalist), Academy of International Business Annual Meeting.


Dr. David Xuefeng Shao is a lecturer in management at The University of Newcastle. He earned his PhD degree in International Business from UNSW. His research has appeared in different A journals on ABDC list including Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Safety Science, Journal of Environmental Management, Enterprise Information Systems, Pacific-Basin Finance Journal and Finance Research Letters. He is in the editorial board of different journals including Management and Organization Review and Journal of International Management. He has published over 50 published peer-reviewed journal articles. His recent research interests in Business Management, Big data and Environmental Management.