State capitalism is usually described as a profit-seeking economic activity undertaken by the state with management of the productive forces in a capitalist manner. Across the OECD, state-owned enterprises have a combined value of almost $2 trillion and employ 6m people.

A new kind of state capitalism started with the Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew, who grasped that Singapore needed to attract foreign investments. The country now has a highly developed and successful free-market economy, with major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production.

Deng Xiaoping, as leader of the Communist Party of China, was another important reformer who led China towards a market economy. He invested in research and development and created special economic zones for Western foreign companies, applying the Western corporate model to state companies.

Since the late 1970s, China has in fact moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role in the world economy. Political scientist Ian Bremmer wrote a book called The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations, where he describes China as the primary driver for the rise of state capitalism as a challenge to the free market economies of the developed world.