Since the beginning of 21st century, progressive advancement of information and internet technologies has increasingly empowered digital governance in China, especially in the realm of public administration, with more capacities and leverage for control over society. However, there remain insufficient studies on the government’s establishing mechanisms of how digital governance in China have been adopted and developed, as well as how it has and will impact the regulatory system from a perspective of market cooperation and symbiosis, thus institutional outsourcing.
With the Chinese government engaging in incrementally complicated socio-political and economic phenomena, emerging challenges have been raising new questions for the government’s capability on digital governance. In response, the government would inevitably seek for techniques and assistance from high-tech firms in the market, regarding technological applications, communicational inventions, informational consultations, etc. Meanwhile, within the governance curtain, navigated by the context-based and target-oriented agenda setting, the regime would deploy multi-layered institutional units to achieve specific institutional functioning. The functional institutionalization, which individual institutions as well as the whole are regime incapable of projecting alone, requires extra outsourcing.
The institutional outsourcing for digital governance functioning offered by the government ontologically provides the market forces, multidimensional opportunities to participate and even integrate with the regime. However, the integration process has also posed new challenges to the relevant regulatory systems. Through a mix-method approach, the research endeavors to explore the dynamic interaction within the institutional outsourcing process, and to substantiate the extra-institutional capture and regulatory innovation.