Although China constitutes the largest market in Asia for the online gaming industry, since gambling is banned in China, the industry’s operation centers are dispersed throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines, where gambling has always been legal. In its efforts to control the participation of Chinese citizens in this burgeoning “illegal” industry, the Chinese government has been monitoring the issuance of visas and conducting investigations overseas. In this paper, we make a case study of the gambling industry in the Philippines to elucidate how China is expanding its influence in Southeast Asian private sector service industries, such as entertainment and online services. Furthermore, we examine the related literature on political and diplomatic geography to elucidate the role played by the Chinese embassy and consulates in the Philippines regarding how this territorialization of the online gambling industry has been used to enhance Chinese influence in the Philippines and beyond.
Kuan-Chi Wang, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
ZihLun Huang, UIUC, United States
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