Dr. GAO Chong recently published a journal article “Re-imagining Corporate Community Involvement during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Pharmaceutical Companies in Guangdong Province, China” in Human Organization, Vol. 80, Issue 4, pp.302–310. (Co-author: Ho Hon Leung, SSCI indexed, Journal of Society for Applied Anthropology, USA, December 2021).

Using some data collected for a wider research project funded by RGC (Faculty Development Scheme, Ref no.: UGC/FDS15/H07/17), this article investigates and examines the participation of commercial firms (including both time-honored pharmaceutical companies and new biomedical companies) in the fight against COVID-19 through the lens of Corporate Community Involvement (CCI). To display CCI as part of ethical and responsible corporate behavior, CCI studies often use a business-centered approach while paying less attention to the role of the state. Based on the stories of some pharmaceutical companies in Guangdong province joining China’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we argue that the state may play a crucial role in shaping CCI activities and in making companies partner with the government under a state of emergency. We also point out that it is likely for these companies to translate their involvement in solving public health problems into profit-seeking opportunities. As such, this paper contributes to CCI studies by introducing a state-led approach and suggesting a form of “state-led and market-driven” CCI. Moreover, this study provides fresh information about the effects of corporations on social life and the practice of socially responsible corporate behavior in a state of public health emergency to anthropologists in the new subfields of anthropology of corporate social responsibility and anthropology of business corporations.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.17730/1938-3525-80.4.302