China's economic reforms are now the subject of intense interest. One of the least expected developments, however, has so far passed with little comment. From the late 1990s, the Chinese state went into business.
Jane Duckett describes in detail the new state business activities and explains why they have appeared. Using research on the northern city of Tianjin during the 1990s she argues that individual departments within the Chinese state are involved in the market economy through the establishment of their own businesses. This book demonstrates that many of these businesses are genuinely entrepreneurial in the sense of profit-seeking, risk-taking and productive, rather than rent seeking, speculative or profiteering.
This entrepreneurialism is an important new dimension of state activity in China with implications for our understanding of the Chinese state. Jane Duckett develops an alternative to the local development state model, which emphasises instead its dynamic, entrepreneurial role in the process of economic reform.