The Chinese Illusion of “Free Enterprise”

chinese_factoryAnyone who has the illusion that the Chinese Communist Party has adopted capitalism would do well to look at exactly how the Chinese economy is run.

While it is true that the Chinese state no longer runs everything directly, it does use the West and its economic mechanisms to perpetuate itself and pursue its goals. The private sector is not as private and free as it seems. Big companies, like computer maker Lenovo or car manufacturer Geely, freely drink deeply from the government money trough. In every major industry, the party is well represented and worker cells are firmly established. Some firm owners are even heads of their local branch’s Communist Party inside their companies.

Is Technology Ruining Your Life? Take A Quick Quiz To Find Out By Clicking Here.

In their book, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge claim that “the party holds meetings that shadow formal board meetings and often trump their decisions, particularly on staff appointments.”

Subscription11Anyone who is anyone in Chinese business had better tow the party line lest the person lose his position. In such circumstances, the “free” market in China is hardly free.