This paper presents a new type of guanxi: hybrid guanxi. We study the informal market in China’s Commercial Paper market, where there is no official infrastructure for online paper transactions. We conducted 33 interviews, a two-month observation, and collected a set of screenshots, to understand how informal financiers trade papers online. We discovered that these actors perform network and technology bricolage, which cultivate and maintain hybrid guanxi through computer-mediated technologies, offline interactions, and transitive ties. Our work enriches the literature of guanxi. Unlike a large body of literature, our work does not assume two prerequisites for online transactions: 1) the existence of transactional infrastructure is prior to the occurrence of transactions, 2) such infrastructure safeguards economic exchanges. Thus, hybrid guanxi offers a lens to understand how social relations purely support economic transactions in the digital era, which is prevalent in both developing and underdeveloped countries.
Li, Tong; Millo, Yuval; and Zachariadis, Markos, "COUNTING ON GUANXI WHEN TRANSACTING MILLIONS? HYBRID GUANXI AND THE BEAUTY OF BRICOLAGE" (2022). ECIS 2022 Research Papers. 160.
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