Party-market corporatism, clientelism, and media in Shanghai

Chin Chuan Lee*, Zhou He, Yu HUANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


In seeking to explain why Shanghai, China's economic capital, has a more timid media system than its sibling cities, we examine the political economy of the Shanghai media from the perspective of clientelism in the post-Communist and cultural milieus of what we call party-market corporatism. Through field work we analyze four aspects of clientelism, including media conglomeration, elite circulation, resource allocation, and (lack of) media professionalism.We conclude that Shanghai is at once a big city and yet a small place: a resource-rich city governed by one layer of power authority, hence the distance from the epicenter of power to various media organizations is so short and direct as to make media control through clientelism very effective and powerful. Clientelism represents one of the three major patterns of party-market corporatism in China's media sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese media
  • Clientelism
  • Elite circulation
  • Media conglomeration
  • Media professionalism
  • Party-market corporatism
  • Patron-client relationship
  • Shanghai media


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