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The Jaguar and the Dragon: Policy of the Chinese Model of Production in the Amazon

ABSTRACT

This article analyzes Chinese production in the global south, focusing on its managerial model. Faced with a process of expansion of China around the world and with increasing investments in Brazil, between 2013 and 2017, we carried out field research in four Chinese factories located in the Industrial Pole of the Manaus Free Trade Zone, the main destination for Chinese investment in the sector of Brazilian electronics. As the main methodological strategy, visits were made to industrial sites, interviews with workers, expatriate Chinese, union leaders and managers, as well as analysis of the companies’ socioeconomic data. Among the research results, the existence of a Chinese model of production in the Amazon was discovered, with characteristics that, on the one hand, reproduce many of the elements of the Japanese model and Fordism, but, on the other, establish original practices of work organization. The result was a technical/bureaucratic relationship with the worker, wage payments and concessions of labor benefits below the average, and the establishment of a centralized Taylorism. The workers’ reactions to this process were diffuse and diverse and the article also addresses the main ones.

chinese factories; Amazon; Manaus free trade zone; chinese model of production; workers

Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
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