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Minjing Li

Minjing Li

Project title

State's roles in the creative and media sector through global production networks - Tencent, Alibaba, and the Chinese state


Research Clusters

Economic Geographies

Project description

The research examines the operation and development of China's creative and media sector through a geographical political economy lens, applying the theories and concepts of global production networks (GPN) and variegated capitalism. In particular, it aims to analyse the power relations between the state and firms within the networks.

The two firms selected for this research – Tencent and Alibaba, are the two largest Chinese tech firms that reach both domestic and global markets, and involved in a wide range of businesses, including the media and creative industries. Their relations with the state are complex and dynamic, thus providing a suitable critical case study. Two distinctive industries in the sector are selected for detailed examination: Tencent in game-production, and Alibaba in news media. The industries adopt similar and different strategies regarding network organisation and relations with the state, suggesting the state’s various roles and policies when engaging with different industries and networks.

Setting the research context in China, the authoritarian capitalism state, has set this research on a fertile ground in which there is (and still growing) an extensive body of literature that discusses the various roles of the state in national development and global economy.

Academic Qualifications

Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Sociology and Philosophy, Queen's University, Canada

Master of Arts in Local and Regional Development Studies, Newcastle University