Digital Dragon: High-Technology Enterprises in China

Digital Dragon: High-Technology Enterprises in China

by Adam Segal
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

During the economic reforms of the last twenty years, China adopted a wide array of policies designed to raise its technological capability and foster industrial growth. Ideologically, the government would not promote private-ownership firms and instead created a hybrid concept, that of "nongovernmental enterprises" or minying qiye. Adam Segal examines the minying

Overview

During the economic reforms of the last twenty years, China adopted a wide array of policies designed to raise its technological capability and foster industrial growth. Ideologically, the government would not promote private-ownership firms and instead created a hybrid concept, that of "nongovernmental enterprises" or minying qiye. Adam Segal examines the minying experience, particularly in high technology, in four key regions: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Guangzhou.

Minying enterprises have been neither clear successes nor abject failures, Segal finds. Instead, outcomes varied: though efforts to create a core of innovative high-tech firms succeeded in Beijing, minying enterprises elsewhere have languished. He points to variations in local implementation of government policies on investment, property-rights regulation, and government supervision as a key to the different outcomes. He explains these peculiarities of implementation by putting official decisions within their local contexts. Extending his analysis, he compares the experience of creating technology enterprises in China with those of Korea (the chaebol system) and Taiwan (enterprise groups).

Based on interviews with entrepreneurs and local government officials, as well as numerous published primary sources, Digital Dragon is the first detailed look at a major Chinese institutional experiment and at high-tech endeavors in China. Can China become a true global economic power? The evolution of the high- technologies sector will determine, Segal says, whether China will become a modern economy or simply a large one.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is packed with solid information and exceptional insights. . . . Segal examines the record of firms in four cities and concludes that success or failure depends very much on the practices of the local governments. The importance of this factor explains one of his most surprising findings: that Beijing firms were more successful than those in Shanghai, where local authorities concentrated their support for high-tech developments on only the large state-owned enterprises and multinationals. In short, there is no getting around the role of government."—Foreign Affairs, November/December 2003

"In Digital Dragon, Segal persuasively argues that the state has played a key role in technology development in China, but it is the local, rather than central state. . . . Digital Dragon is an important work because it represents a new breed of research, one that is attempting to provide a more nuanced understanding of how state-business relations lead to economic outcomes. It is certainly not the first work to focus on local governments in China, but it is one of the first to specify with such care the range of institutional structures that exist and how they correspond to the economic needs of a particular industrial sector."—Eric Thun, Pacific Affairs, Spring 2004

"Segal has succeeded in painting a vivid portrait of local backgrounds in the four regions under consideration, starting from interviews with local government officials and entrepreneurs. Anyone who wants to trade with or invest in China will gain a lot from reading this book."—Leonardo

"Digital Dragon provides an engrossing account of China's efforts to develop nongovernmental high-technology firms as a means of increasing the country's indigenous technological capability. . . . Through its rich case studies, Digital Dragon offers a complex picture of how high-tech enterprises must be nurtured by a mix of relative autonomy. . . . Segal's absorbing analysis is highly recommended to sinologists and generalists alike."—Thomas G. Moore, Perspectives on Politics, March 2004

"This book contains a lot of useful information about some of the celebrated minying enterprises and high-tech development zones, as well as about the government policies and measures related to their success. It is highly readable, and suitable both for business practitioners and for social scientists interested in the state's role in economic development."—Bennis Wai-yip So, China Journal

"Digital Dragon offers an excellent opportunity to expand one's understanding of the processes involved in China's maturation into a key player on the world's economic stage. The book deserves and receives hearty recommendation."—Mark Jacobs, China Review, Fall 2004

"Nongovernmental firms are China's pioneers in high technology. Adam Segal uses hundreds of interviews and documents from four places (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xi'an) to show that local cultures and small firms are more crucial to growth in the information technology industry than are national policies and large firms. Segal shows that his four cities have made startlingly different efforts to jump into the future."—Lynn White, Princeton University

"Digital Dragon shows how high-tech entrepreneurship has emerged with varying success from the different institutional contexts of four Chinese cities. The findings are surprising and important; who would have guessed that Beijing would be a more successful high-tech innovator than Shanghai? The book sets a new standard for the comparative study of political economy in China."—Susan Shirk, Professor of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

"Digital Dragon is an excellent book that makes a strong contribution to research on the Chinese economy. Adam Segal gets to the very heart of the problems that China faces in its quest to become a true global economic power."—Doug Guthrie, New York University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801439858
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Series:
2/25/2010
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x (h) x 0.20(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >