'Small profits' - Strukturmerkmale und Entwicklungsprobleme der urbanen Individualwirtschaft in der VR China
AbstractThis article intends to analyse recent structural patterns, development problems and the reasons for rehabilitation of the urban private economy in the People’s Republic of China since 1978. The authors start from the thesis that the so-called “private sector” in China is not comparable with its “out”-differentiated counterpart in Western industrial countries, but is interlaced, in a complex way, with informal, partly illegitimate activities, interpersonal relation-networks (“guanxi”) or economic transactions of state/collective factories. The article illustrates the subordinate situation of the individual labourers in terms of their political regulation by (sometimes restrictive) licence procedures, taxes and fees; resource supply problems (material, commodities); precarious financial situation, capital procurement and credit opportunities; self organization; poor chances of social participation; recruitment and their dependence on state organs and local bureaucracy. Although some of the “getihu” (who are not only confined to small pedlars and merchants, but also include larger industrial companies, leased factories...) have now become extremely prosperous, the majority of them have to combine self-exploitation, family resources and informal transactions, to compensate the permanent insecurity which itself derives from the exclusion from the state planning and supply system, the social security system and the ambivalence of state and local cadre politics towards the private economy.