Chinese Investors in Germany: A Threat to Jobs and Labour Standards?

While the German economy is generally quite open to FDI, Chinese investors in the country have been facing widespread mistrust, a feeling reinforced by concerns related to transfers of know-how and the relocation of jobs to ‘low-cost’ China. In order to gather empirical evidence about the actual impact of Chinese investment in Germany and confront prejudice, Wolfgang Mueller carried out a survey on 42 of about 70 Chinese-invested companies in the country with more than 150 employees, covering the manufacturing, logistics, and service sectors.

Strategic Considerations of Chinese Investors in Europe

Chinese investors have adopted practices similar to their European counterparts: they grasp opportunities to enter new markets and internationalise their brand names, production facilities, staff, and operations in order to make more profits in new places. The globalisation and opening of world markets over the past decades has brought a new level of competition, which […]

My Rights Have Been Left behind in Papua New Guinea: The Predicament of Chinese Overseas Workers

Increasing numbers of Chinese companies are sending employees abroad as part of China’s global push. Still, Chinese workers abroad often find themselves vulnerable. By tracking the case of one employee in a Chinese enterprise in Papua New Guinea, this essay reveals the plight of China’s relatively powerless overseas workers, an image that stands in stark contrast to the widespread depiction of an increasingly assertive and powerful Chinese global presence.

Outsourcing Coercion and Social Control

To carry out coercion and social control, the Chinese government often resorts to non-state actors, including ‘thugs-for-hire’, profit-seeking brokers, and even commercial enterprises. This piece examines the circumstances under which the authorities use these means and the reasons behind their choices, arguing that this is mostly related to the need of reducing the cost of repression and evading responsibility.

The Global Age of Algorithm: Social Credit and the Financialisation of Governance in China

Much has been made of the Orwellian social control aspects of the emerging ‘social credit system’ in China. However, social credit is more than simply a Chinese version of big brother: it is an unprecedented climax of the global financialisation project and a signal of a potential dark digital future dominated by algorithmic rule.

Justice Restored under Xi Jinping: A Political Project

Since Xi Jinping’s ascendance to power, several cases of miscarriage of justice have been remedied, and significant reforms have been implemented to prevent abuses by the police and the courts. While on the surface these reforms could be considered groundbreaking, they have not found much international admiration or praise, as they are being carried out at the same time as a ferocious crackdown on civil society. It is now clear that in Xi’s reforms there is more than meets the eye.

Beijing Evictions, a Winter’s Tale

In response to a deadly fire in a Beijing neighbourhood inhabited mostly by migrant workers, the authorities of the Chinese capital launched an unprecedented wave of evictions. Without any notice, migrants who often had spent years in the capital were told to leave their habitations and relocate elsewhere in the midst of the freezing north-China winter. While foreign media widely reported on the unfolding of the crisis, they often overlooked the outpouring of outrage in Chinese public discourse. This essay seeks to fill this gap.

Counting Contention

In the past few years, a growing number of academics and activists have launched projects aimed at counting contention in the realm of Chinese labour. This essay explores the power and limitations of such efforts, detailing the inevitable data problems involved in any quantitative approach to documenting protests in China. It also examines the ethics involved in how we collect such data and the questions we ask of it.

Migrants, Mass Arrest, and Resistance in Contemporary China

In today’s China, migrant workers are commonly perceived as criminals. This essay examines how this bias is reflected in mechanisms of crime control, as well as in the judicial and correctional systems. It also looks into the strategies adopted by migrants to cope with this kind of discrimination by the law enforcement bodies.


In January 2017, Apple celebrated the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first model of the iPhone. After a decade, has Apple’s extraordinary profitability been coupled with any greater social responsibility? Are the Chinese workers who produce the most lucrative product in the electronics world seeing improved working and living conditions? This essay provides some answers by focussing on two issues: freedom of association and the situation of student interns.

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