HKIHSS Webinar (29 January): Thomas DuBois: "Milk from the Butterfly Spring: State and Enterprise in the Yunnan Dairy Industry"

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Chinese Business History Webinar

Milk from the Butterfly Spring: State and Enterprise in the Yunnan Dairy Industry


Prof. Thomas DuBois

Beijing Normal University



Date & Time: January 29, 2021 (Friday), 9:00 – 10:30 am (HK time)

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Founded in 1959, the Dengchuan Milk Products Factory was both an individuated enterprise and an asset in the development of western Yunnan. The talk will examine the six-decade transformation of Dengchuan from state-owned industry, to officially promoted dragon head, and finally as a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Hope Group. Even as the company enjoyed greater managerial independence, it has relied on the government for materials, market access, and the development of its dairy base, a relationship that only recently reversed as the company responded to demands for capital investment and productive upscaling. Albeit on a much smaller scale, this relationship is comparable to the business groups that dominate sectoral development in strategic industries.



About the Speaker

Thomas DuBois is Professor of Humanities at Beijing Normal University. Before, he held positions at Fudan University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Australian National University, the National University of Singapore and Washington University St. Louis. He is the author of Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China (University of Hawai’i Press, 2005), Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2017). To learn more about Prof. DuBois research, please have a look at his recent article in Rural China


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