Emerging Dynamics Between the Chinese State and Big-Tech: The Case of Alibaba

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  • January-February 2023

    The past few years have been tumultuous for the Chinese State and big-tech relations. The ground reality for the big-tech internet companies in China has transformed from being indulgent and overreaching to scrutiny and crackdown. This article attempts to analyse the dynamics between the Chinese State and big tech, taking Alibaba’s journey as a case study. This article departs from earlier studies by examining the case of Alibaba within a set of common trends and assumptions about State-big tech dynamics, which are also seen emerging in China. It argues that the unfolding trends follow a pattern that targets certain platform companies and ultimately motivates them to go global. It also highlights that Xi Jinping’s stricter control of the Party and bureaucracy, and renewed emphasis on Mao Zedong’s thought is bringing stricter scrutiny for private enterprises.