A federation

Though frequently thought of as centralized monoliths, most major national Chinese corporations are relatively divorced from the operations of the same company in other provinces.  For instance, rather than China Telecom being run as a centralized entity throughout China, a better way to conceptualize what takes places is that the Beijing office of China Telecom sits on top of the Guangdong head office, the Fujian head office, and so on.  This means that Beijing has much less control over the head offices throughout China than is frequently believed, with local bosses making their own decisions about what to do.

That’s Christopher Balding. This is consistent with what I learned reading *The Search For Modern China*. Like all large countries, it is an intensely regional (my autocorrect keeps putting in tribal, maybe a better word?) place. A part of me is excited to learn of all the nuance hidden away in China that we well learn about in the coming decades. It will take us by surprise.

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