The Chinese People's Liberation Army recently awarded a contract to a civilian firm for a fiber-optic net to connect its main command centers. This choice was in preference to asking a government company to do the work. While such a step would be unremarkable in the West, for China it may have vast significance. Since opening to private enterprise, China has become a world supplier of electronic goods. The question has been whether the growing Chinese consumer electronics industry would have an impact on the capabilities of the Chinese military. Until very recently, the answer has been no; Chinese weapons still were produced by government agencies, now companies, created under the old Communist system. As a consequence, Chinese equipment and weapons tended to be obsolescent. The Chinese did buy foreign prototypes to adapt for local production.
World Naval Developments: How Will Chinese Military Modernize?
By Norman Friedman, Author, The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems