Sonja’s current research explores the rise and development of China’s private firm economy. The research project employs a comparative institutional perspective. The role of the private enterprise economy is a crucial if not decisive indicator to assess the quality of Chinas newly arising capitalist system. Does China maintain a distinct form of politicized capitalism, where economic and political sphere overlap and government-firm relations remain a decisive factor for economic success? Or, does China move towards a liberal market economy, increasingly converging with Western-style markets? These are central questions explored with a mixed method approach combining longitudinal surveys, case studies, and qualitative interviews in the Yangzi delta region (700 participating firms are covered). The interdisciplinary research brings together economists and sociologists from Sweden, the US, and China.