Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 45 Nos. 4

Business Borderlands: China’s Overseas State Agribusiness

Published on 15 July 2014

In the context of widespread interests in China’s agro‐state‐owned enterprises (SOEs), this article starts demystifying four narratives prevailing internationally.

In this intellectual landscape, the article coins an innovative approach, ‘farm as business borderland’ to investigate an agro‐SOE in Tanzania. Based on the ethnographic case study, the article presents the tensions arising between the case farm and its Beijing headquarters on the one hand, and between Chinese managers and local stakeholders on the other. The authors examine the reasons why the travelling business bureaucracy rationalities from Beijing to Tanzania works and how this is adapted locally in the farm’s daily practices. The authors also explore why and how Chinese managers’ footloose expatriate lifestyle is not as relevant as normally expected in constructing convergence with locals. Finally the article discusses the implications of the new approach on international development inquiry and global governance practices.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 45.4 (2014) Business Borderlands: China’s Overseas State Agribusiness

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Xu, X., Qi, G. and Li, X. (2014) Business Borderlands: China's Overseas State Agribusiness. IDS Bulletin 45(4): 114-124

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Xiuli Xu

China Agricultural University

Gubo Qi
Xiaoyun Li

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies


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China Tanzania

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