This book is about the political economy of China’s industrial reform and the rise of a group of Chinese big businesses under the Communist Party and the central state’s control. It examines the origins, evolution and institutional configuration of this centralized system in governing the ‘commanding heights’ of the Chinese industrial economy. Shaped by persistent industrial policies to develop China’s ‘national champions’ enterprises, the core parts of China’s central industrial ministries and mono-bank system have been transformed into a ‘national team’ of giant modern business firms in industries such as oil, power generation, telecommunications, aerospace, aviation, nuclear, shipbuilding, mining, construction, automobile and banking. Through an adaptive process of learning, experimentation and restructuring, the bedrock of the authority relations and control mechanisms among the Party, government bureaucracy and firms has been consolidated rather than dismantled in the system’s transformation. This alternative view of China’s industrial reform presents a direct challenge to the neo-liberal transition model of China’s institutional development and the mainstream Western conceptions of Chinese big business.

chapter |20 pages

Transition, involution, or evolution

Rethinking the political economy of China's industrial reform

chapter |24 pages

Organized for catching-up

The emergence of China's centralized industrial order

chapter |38 pages

The making of big business

From industrial ministries to centrally controlled ‘national champions'

chapter |19 pages

Holding ‘China Inc.' together

The development of central nomenklatura and personnel management system

chapter |22 pages

Holding ‘China Inc.' together

The restructuring of the centrally controlled financial system