Politics, Policy, Culture and China: The Growth of the Top Ethnic Chinese Businesses in the Philippines Since the 1990s

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Although Chinese have long been ubiquitous among businesses in the Philippines, it was only in the past three decades that Chinese-owned businesses have surpassed those owned by the traditional elite: the Spanish Filipinos and indigenous Filipinos. Among the top 100 Filipino private corporations, the percentage of Chinese ones has grown from 26% in 1990 to 50% in 2014, whereas businesses of the traditional elites have declined from 46 to 20% during the same period. This chapter analyzes the rise of Chinese Filipinos business during the past decades beginning with Marcos’s martial law, from 1972 to 1981, until the period of globalization. Factors considered include China’s economic policies and the cultural traits of Chinese Filipinos.