China's long-term economic success is driven by new firms, new sectors and new business practices. This book explores the establishment of new private firms and listed companies, the development of knowledge industries, in particular the IT and banking sectors and the co-evolution of public governance and business institutions. The contributors discuss the role of local institutions in coordinating business activities and unleashing entrepreneurship, arguing that the sudden growth of new firms and industries is facilitated by changes in business behaviour and institutions. Initial private exchange and investment in an environment of ill-functioning markets are shown to depend on local networks and local business culture which, in turn, rely on local tax regimes setting incentives for inherited bureaucracies to engage in economic transformation. Finally, the book establishes local institutions and local governance as crucial dimensions of China's emerging business system. Contributing to the theory of endogenous institutional change, The Chinese Economy in the 21st Century will be of great appeal to academics and students interested in management, comparative business systems, transition economics, evolutionary economics, Chinese studies and Asian studies.