This chapter depicts the evolution and growth of industry in Zouping from roughly 1985 to 2012. It pays particular attention to the histories of the two largest conglomerates in Zouping: the Weiqiao Group and the Xiwang Group. It analyzes these two groups as instances of “local capital,” with the term local indicating that the groups were constrained by their social embeddedness in local communities and the term capital indicating the groups’ drive to constantly seek out higher rates of profit. The pressures of capital may be seen in the histories of privatization both groups experienced, while the social embeddedness comes through, in part, in the depictions of their “work-unit culture”—cultures in which workers are treated as relatively permanent members of the firms. The workers receive a wide range of benefits in addition to their wages, including housing.
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