by Michael Keane, in Geographies of Creativity edited by Lily Kong and Anjeline de Dios. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (forthcoming 2019)
This chapter considers the People’s Republic of China as a rising innovative force in the East Asian region. It shows how an interventionist state enables innovation while constraining creativity. In this context creativity is viewed as disruptive, and subject to state management and intervention. Intervention can be enabling if one plays to the government’s tune, which is’ mass innovation’; while potentially disruptive, this formulation does not directly challenge the system. To illustrate this, the chapter looks at the background to a shift in policy emphasis from cultural industries to ‘digital creative industries’ and how government is allowing emerging technology companies, best represented by Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, to utilize the disruptive power of online digital technologies to bolster and extend China’s economic, political and cultural influence in the region. The chapter considers the ways that these companies are moving into cultural content and seeking out audiences in the region.
Disruption, China, digital creative industries, BAT, Internet of Things