This chapter further examines the Chinese context in which AFNs are developing. The context is reflected in China’s unique version of “capitalism with social characteristics,” collective farmland ownership, predominance of smallholder agriculture and traditional marketing chains based on wholesale and wet markets, an obsession with food security and increasing meat consumption, nascent food safety legislation, and a civil society with limited autonomy from an authoritarian state that keeps shifting the terrain of what is permitted. We suggest that much could be gained from exploring the paradoxical emergence of AFNs in this contradictory and shifting landscape.