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Title:Tencent as a nexus: the political economy of China’s internet industry
Author(s):Tang, Min
Director of Research:Schiller, Dan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Schiller, Dan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Davis, Susan; McChesney, Robert; Zhao, Yuezhi
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political economy
Internet industry
Abstract:This dissertation examines the political economy of China’s Internet industry—a nexus of two dynamic poles of growth—China and the Internet. Specifically, through a case study of Tencent, the dissertation investigates the political-economic context within which the Chinese Internet company has grown, the ownership and control and expansion strategies of the company, and its relations with units of capital—domestic and transnational—and state entities. In doing so, the study contributes to three areas of knowledge: the political-economy theory of the Internet, the specific dynamics of China’s Internet industry and its interaction with transnational digital capitalism, and the contemporary transformation of China and the global political economy. This dissertation argues that Tencent emerged as a creation jointly of the Chinese state and transnational financial capital. On one hand, Tencent stood out under the state-driven policies that have prioritized the development of China’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry since the mid-1990s. On the other, the China-based company has been substantially transnationalized both in its capital structure and business activities. Furthermore, the expansion strategies Tencent employed—horizontal and vertical integration, diversification and transnationalization—spoke to the intrinsic trends of capitalist reproduction and the consistent features of the political economy of communications. Chinese state agencies have played crucial roles in protecting, brokering, shaping, and reshaping China’s transnational Internet industry.
Issue Date:2017-07-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Min Tang
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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