About the event

Conventional wisdom held that China's embrace of free markets would lead to a more liberal society. But as Xi Jinping was appointed in October 2022 to a third five-year term as China's supreme leader, many have commented that the opposite has occurred and instead, Chinese leadership has a renewed embrace of Maoist principles. What does this mean for the future of the Chinese economy and relations with the West? 

Professor Christopher Marquis, author of Mao and Markets (Yale University Press, 2023), shared his thoughts on this important question. 

About Christopher Marquis

Christopher Marquis is the Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He is the author of the award-winning books Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism and Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise. Prior to joining Cambridge he worked at Cornell for over 6 years, and Harvard for over 11 years, where he developed an award-winning course on social entrepreneurship.

He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed academic articles and more than 50 Harvard business cases on topics related to sustainable business and has earned awards for scholarly achievement from the Academy of Management and the American Sociological Association. Marquis earned a Ph.D. in sociology and business administration from the University of Michigan and a BA in History from Notre Dame. Before his academic career, he worked for six years in the financial services industry, most recently as vice president and technology manager for a business unit of J.P. Morgan Chase.

About the book

The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise by Christopher Marquis and Kunyuan Qiao
Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise by Christopher Marquis and Kunyuan Qiao

A thoroughly researched assessment of how China's economic success continues to be shaped by the communist ideology of Chairman Mao
It was long assumed that as China embraced open markets and private enterprise, its state-controlled economy would fall by the wayside and that free markets would inevitably lead to a more liberal society. Instead, China's growth over the past four decades has positioned state capitalism as a durable foil to the orthodoxy of free markets, to the confusion of many in the West.
Christopher Marquis and Kunyuan Qiao argue that China's economic success is based on—not in spite of—the continuing influence of Communist leader Mao Zedong. They illustrate how Mao's ideological principles, mass campaigns, and socialist institutions have enduringly influenced Chinese entrepreneurs' business strategies and the management of their ventures. Grounded in case studies and quantitative analyses, this book shows that while private enterprise is the engine of China's growth, Chinese companies see no contradictions between commercial drive and dedication to Maoist ideology.

Center for Emerging Markets Events

China Lecture Series

This event was part of the Center for Emerging Markets' China Lecture Series, which explores important topics about China and its role in the world.