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Working Papers / Global Economics: Trade Investment and Development


A Network Anatomy of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

Author(s): Li-Wen Lin

Topic(s): Economic Development // International Relations // Trade, Investment and International Cooperation //

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This Article provides an anatomy of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by unpacking their various relations with different types of state organs. It shows that Chinese SOEs are embedded in a network composed of dense and complex links with the state. Shareholding ties, albeit important, are only one of the many relations with the state. This network perspective provides a rather comprehensive overview of the basic architecture of China’s state-owned sector. It illustrates important governance institutions that are unobservable from the laws on the book and distinctive from international standards. It clarifies some SOE behaviors that appear puzzling when taking the individual firm as the unit of analysis. It also raises challenging questions to various areas of law in the globalization context.