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Networking ChinaThe Digital Transformation of the Chinese Economy$
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Yu Hong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040917

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040917.001.0001

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Forging Broadband for the Commanding-Heights Economy

Forging Broadband for the Commanding-Heights Economy

State-Business Relations in Networking

(p.51) Chapter 3 Forging Broadband for the Commanding-Heights Economy
Networking China

Yu Hong

University of Illinois Press

To explicate the ascent of the internet into a primary site of economic restructuring, this chapter historicizes broadband internet in China, focusing on the evolving political economy of networks after the neoliberal reform. It argues that the take-up of broadband took place when China’s outward-looking economy has become full blown and crisis-ridden. In this new context and especially after 2008, broadband is interwoven into the state’s manifold thrusts of constructing for an alternative commanding-height economy. However, new contradictions, which the broadband China program fell short of addressing, including labor discontent, excessive competition in the urban access market, and corporate disincentives to expanding networks in the countryside, continue to hamper broadband from becoming the strategic public infrastructure that state leaders hope to make it.

Keywords:   fiber-optic cable, copper line replacement, broadband China, state-business relations, customer-premises networks, developmental state, Web-enabled enterprises, consumerization of broadband, commanding-height economy, strategic public infrastructure

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