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Entrepreneurial Solutionism, Characteristic Cultural Industries and the Chinese Dream

‘Entrepreneurial Solutionism, Characteristic Cultural Industries and the Chinese Dream’, by Michael Keane and Ying Chen, International Journal of Cultural Policy 2017,

In this paper, we chart the development of creative cities from urban clusters through to ‘characteristic towns’, the latter typology reflecting a government desire to build distinctive cultural brands. We illustrate how this recent development iteration has played out in Hangzhou and its relationship to Internet+, a policy blueprint introduced by the Chinese government in March 2015 which underpins ambitions to make China an innovative nation. The term ‘entrepreneurial solutionism’ describes a proclivity to see digital technology as a solution to China’s social and economic problems, and a way to enhance the realisation of the ‘Chinese Dream’ of national rejuvenation. Central to the Internet + blueprint is the slogan ‘mass entrepreneurship, mass innovation’, suggesting elements of the kind of Silicon Valley style neoliberalism, often celebrated in start-up cultures. While it has become fashionable to append the term neoliberalism to China’s developments, we argue that China’s reversion to hard authoritarianism under Xi Jinping renders this description problematic.

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