Social capital and financial capital acquisition: creating gaming ventures in Shanghai’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

Gejun Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Entrepreneurs have been a driving force in the rapid development of the Chinese digital game industry. However, in previous studies, little attention has been paid to entrepreneurs’ business development and performance, especially the ways in which they obtain key resources in the process of venture creation. Because most gaming entrepreneurs in China have wrestled with fundraising difficulties in recent years, this study was conducted to examine how gaming entrepreneurs acquire financial capital from a social capital perspective. Data were collected from 33 in-depth interviews with gaming entrepreneurs who were operating ventures in Shanghai, one of China’s major game industry hubs. The data included detailed accounts of the acquisition of financial capital in relation to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem’s four capital providers: business angels, venture capitalists, incubators/accelerators, and government funding agencies. The findings showed that the gaming entrepreneurs in this study used diverse patterns of social capital access and mobilization to acquire financial capital. The findings also showed how the entrepreneurs had adjusted their social capital use in response to the worsening financial market. The findings of this study contribute to the literature on the Chinese digital game industry by articulating how gaming entrepreneurs leverage social resources to enact venture creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Early online date12 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • digital game industry
  • entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • financial capital
  • gaming entrepreneurship
  • Shanghai
  • social capital


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