CCP Inc. in Malaysia: How State Capitalism Supports and Constrains China’s Tech Giants

Is China’s state capitalist system a benefit or a liability for Chinese companies? This case study focuses on two of China’s most prominent tech companies, Huawei and Alibaba, for insight into how the “CCP Inc.” ecosystem of Chinese party-state actors can both support and constrain private sector firms. In Malaysia, both companies rapidly expanded their footprints throughout the 2010s, becoming deeply integrated in national telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and e-commerce infrastructure—and opening doors for other Chinese companies in Malaysia’s tech sector along the way. In the past few years, however, Huawei and Alibaba have both faced major hurdles due to their integration in the CCP Inc. state capitalist system. Political pushback against Huawei is damaging its ability to expand internationally, while a government crackdown on China’s own tech sector is challenging Alibaba’s growth prospects.

This report was made possible through the generous support of the Smith Richardson Foundation.

Forecasting Writer, Insider Intelligence, and Senior Adviser, Trivium China
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Briana Boland
Research Associate, Freeman Chair in China Studies