In this article, we join an ongoing debate among Western scholars on political representation and argue that political representation is undergoing a transformation stimulated by the rapid proliferation of the new information and communication technologies. We propose that in China, the new social media have stimulated a shift from representation by official organizations to bottom-up self-representation, and from mandate political representation to embodiment. To grasp this change, we select private entrepreneurs as our focus of study and propose the concept of “connective representation.” Drawing on fieldwork in China from 2015 through 2019 and on analysis of online materials, we demonstrate how private entrepreneurs in China form and advance their collective interests through online connectivity. The concept of connective representation adds to the conventional perspectives on political representation, particularly in the authoritarian setting.

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