State–Business Relations in China’s Changing Economic Order

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter seeks to characterize state–business relations in China by examining the polymorphous nature of the Chinese state and the rise of business as a hybrid actor. It begins with an assessment of existing concepts and approaches to the Chinese situation and argues that the forms of contention and the terms of exchange between state and business in China deviate from the existing categories of analysis. Seeing state–business relations in China as uniform or dominated by a specific form of interaction is a gross oversimplification. State–business relations are heterogeneous and not only vary across regions and sectors but are also “uneven” across different kinds of business actors within the same sector in a region. Our analysis underlines the micro-foundations of state–business relations in China. It argues that state–business relations are graded, in the sense that different types of business enjoy different degrees of closeness to the state and substates. Such differential closeness is determined, in general, by the ownership structures of business, the locations and scalar positions of the substates within the tiao–kuaihierarchy, and the strategies of substates and businesses.


State–business relations State polymorphism Hybrid business Differential closeness Rent seeking 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacauMacaoChina

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