This thesis attempts to investigate the emergence of domestic entrepreneurs in China's hybrid economy, the patterns of their entrepreneurial activities and their contributions to social development in China as individual social actors. Firstly, economic reforms in China's economy and their performance are explained and reviewed. A critique of the current development theories also shows that the actor-oriented approach is most appropriate for the investigation of China's development experiments with private entrepreneurs and non-state enterprises.
Based on documentary research and in-depth interviews with informants from a variety of non-state enterprises as well as academics and government officials, it is found that different groups of entrepreneurs as well as other social actors have played significant roles in the different stages of economic transformation in China. Specifically, some entrepreneurs have played crucial roles in capital accumulation and market formation as well as in popularising business values and entrepreneurship through their success stories and achievements. In later stages, they, along with government officials, media professionals, academics and other social actors, have also made enormous contributions in consolidating the market system. This means that all groups of actors are actively participating and reconstructing the current social structure and its hybrid economy in China. In sum, the new social order in China is determined not only by political elite, but also by people who are involved in a new system of production and distribution and the provision of new products and services. In theoretical terms, the experiences of China's entrepreneurs have demonstrated that only through the participation of actors from the grassroots could a developing country's social values and the way of living of its people be rapidly transformed.