Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Business School


Management Information Systems

Faculty Mentor Department

Modern and Classical Languages

Faculty Mentor

Zhen Cao


Bamboo Network, Overseas Chinese, dominant minority, middleman minority

Subject Categories

Chinese Studies | Economic History | Ethnic Studies | Migration Studies


For hundreds of years, ethnic Chinese have set sail in hopes of peace and economic prosperity in Southeast Asia. Over time, these immigrants became paramount to the culture, economies, and politics of their newfound homes. The immense success of these Chinese migrants and their descendants is based on two main factors: maintaining in-group preference in business and social life without explicit discrimination towards outsiders and holding individuals who have achieved wealth through ethical Confucianist means in high esteem. Unique among diaspora groups, the emigrants from China managed to become fully integrated in their adoptive homelands, while still maintaining traditional customs, languages, foods, and a distinctly Chinese identity. This paper examines the history of Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, the “Bamboo Network” of Chinese businesses in Asia, and the effect that the Overseas Chinese have had on Mainland China via economic investment. There will be a particular focus on the economic history, institutions, and entrepreneurial behavior of the Chinese diaspora in the 20th and 21st century, and their outsized effect on the economies and society in their adopted homes.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




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