These documentaries illuminate the light and dark sides of the digital economy


The rapid rise of startups and digital-focused businesses not only changes our way of communicating, but has far-reaching implications for the world’s realities. These documentaries show how these can look like, using a few examples.

(Photo: Arte)The report takes a close look at the young start-up scene in Europe and portrays various startups with their innovative ideas , For example, France is becoming a startup nation. The country spends a lot of money on this development, so founders have easier access to residence permits, there are cheap to no-interest loans and real tax relief in the early years. But also Eastern Europe with countries like Bulgaria is catching up. Only Germany lags behind this development, here technology companies have it particularly difficult. Exciting inventory of Europe’s digital founding scene!

. 2 Hacking till you drop: DHL deliverer under pressure

(Photo: ZDF)

Due to the rapid increase in online commerce, parcel services are booming – which is often a constant source of stress for the deliverers means. And more and more customers are dissatisfied with the post office. Because all too often the packet does not arrive where it should go. One reason lies in the structure of the company: In many cases, subcontractors are appointed, who in turn employ deliverers far below the legal minimum wage. Basically, it is nothing else than exploitation, which is led by the pseudonym of self-employment. This documentary goes into this system and lets deliverers and post have their say.

. 3 China: Villages with E-Commerce

(Photo: Arte)

In recent years, Chinese consumer habits have changed radically through online marketplaces such as Alibaba. More and more, e-commerce is replacing traditional commerce. Sidewalks become pick-up stations. And not only the consumption and the working structure of the population of China is changing through the revolution 2.0. More and more young farmers are starting their own online business. And with great success: In 2017, 13 million Chinese rural residents overcame the poverty line. The standard of living improved and people return from the cities to the countryside. This report highlights how the government is supporting this development and what challenges and problems the country is facing as a result of this change.

. 4 The crash: How Germany’s most successful startup went down

(Photo: ARD)

Portals like ab-in-den-urlaub.de or fluege.de were market leaders for years in their industry. Its founder Thomas Wagner was still in his twenties and laid with his start-up a legendary rise, as it had not existed in Germany in the startup scene. Ironically, in a plane crash, he was torn from his life at just 28 years old. An accident? Tragic coincidence? This story is not only more exciting than it seems at first glance – it’s a real business crime. And he is told in this documentary.

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