China's Digital Silk Road: The Loss for Indonesia

Main Article Content

Nanda Blestri Jasuma
Arie Kusuma Paksi


One of China’s great projects in the current digital era, namely the Digital Silk Road (DSR) project, merits an examination from a Gramscian lens. While liberals are talking about how this project can beneficially the partner’s country, Gramsci’s thought can provide the other perspective in understanding how this project can give unexpected costs for the partner country. As the biggest market in Southeast Asia’s country, Indonesia is worth the attention related to this issue as this country has become one of the strategic partners of China’s DSR. However, DSR is offering both economic benefits and multi-faceted costs simultaneously for Indonesia. Hence, this study argues that the DSR project, in Gramsci lens, is giving a push for China to spread its hegemony and take over the domination in the Indonesian economy. This study is supported by the qualitative research method with the data is collected through secondary data and literature review.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Blestri Jasuma, N. and Kusuma Paksi, A. (2021) “China’s Digital Silk Road: The Loss for Indonesia”, Nation State: Journal of International Studies, 4(1), pp. 35 - 50. doi: 10.24076/nsjis.v4i1.513.
Research Article


Abe, T. (2016) Backed by their government, Chinese companies splash out abroad (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 31 May 2021).

Bates, T. R. (1975) “Gramsci and the Theory of Hegemony”. Journal of the History of Ideas, April, 36(2), pp. 351-366.

BBC News. (2021) China overtakes US as EU's biggest trading partner (Online). Available at: (Accessed 31 May 2021).

Bhagawati, J. (2018) “The Pitfalls of China’s “Digital Silk Road” in Southeast Asia”. e, December, 1(2), pp. 6-14.

Birkland, T. A. (2007) Agenda Setting in Public Policy. In: Fischer, Frank, G. J. Miller & M. S. Sidney, eds. Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods.. s.l.:CRC Press.

Chandran, N. (2018) Alibaba's 'Digital Free Trade Zone' has some worried about China links to Malaysia (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 2 June 2021).

Chia, J. (2018) Five Chinese smart cities leading the way (Online). Available at:

(Accessed: 2 June 2021).

CNBC Indonesia (2019) Investor China Penyokong E-Commerce Indonesia (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 4 June 2021).

Cyrill, M. (2018) What is Made in China 2025 and Why Has it Made the World So Nervous? (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 30 May 2021).

Das, K., Gryseels, M., Sudhir, P. & Tan , K. T. (2016) Unlocking Indonesia’s digital opportunity, Jakarta: McKinsey&Company.

Dekker, B., Okano-Heijmans, M. & Zhang, E. (2020) Unpacking China’s Digital Silk Road, s.l.: Clingendael Institute.

Ghiasy, R. & Krishnamurthy, R. (2020) China’s Digital Silk Road Strategic Implications for the EU and India.

Ghiasy, R. & Krishnamurthy, R. (2021). China’s Digital Silk Road and the Global Digital Order (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 31 May 2021).

Global Times. (2021) ASEAN becomes China's largest trading partner in 2020, with 7% growth (Online). Available at:,partner%20for%20the%20first%20time (Accessed: 31 May 2021).

Hakim, A. (2020) Indonesia's digital payment providers OVO, Dana agree to merge – Bloomberg (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 1 June 2021).

Iswanto, D. (2021) Duh! 90 Persen Produk di E-commerce Barang Impor, Produk UMKM Kita Kemana? (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 4 June 2021).

J.P. Morgan. (2019) E-commerce Payments Trends: Indonesia (Online). Available at:

(Accessed: 28 May 2021).

Kemp, S. (2021) Digital 2021: Indonesia (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 2 June 2021).

Kusuma, H. (2020) Google Kini Kuasai 1,6% Saham di Tokopedia (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 1 June 2021).

Lazanyuk, I. & Revinova, S. (2019) Digital economy in the BRICS countries: Myth or reality?. International scientific and practical conference on digital economy (ISCDE 2019), pp. 1-20.

LY, B. (2020) “Challenge and perspective for Digital Silk Road”. Cogent Business & Management, 7(1), pp. 1-19.

Milner, H. &. K. K. (2005) “Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries”. International Organization, 59(1), p. 107–143.

Morgan, E. C. (2002) “Perspective, Globalization and Human Security: A Neo-Gramscian”. International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 2, pp. 57-73.

Myovella, G., Karacuka, M. & Haucap, J. (2020) “Digitalization and economic growth: A comparative analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa and OECD Economies”. Telecommunications Policy, 44(2).

Pangestu, M. (2019) Lecture: Digital Economy and Development: an ASEAN Perspective (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 2 June 2021).

Patria, N. & Arief, A. (1999) Antonio Gramsci Negara & Hegemoni. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar Offset.

Pointe Bello (2019) The Digital Silk Road Initiative: Wiring Global IT and Telecommunications to Advance Beijing’s Global Ambitions. Pointe Bello.

Rakhmat, M. Z. & Purnama, Y. (2021) For Indonesia, Chinese 5G Cooperation Brings Promise and Peril (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 2 June 2021).

Rusakova, O. F., Gribovod, E. G. & Vakhrusheva, E. A. (2020) Digitalization As a Growth Factor of ??Soft Power'' in the Context of Globalization. s.l., KnE Social Sciences, pp. 777-784.

Statista. (2021) Digital Market Outlook (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 28 May 2021).

Stec, G. (2018) The Invisible Silk Road: Enter the Digital Dragon. EU-Asia at a Glance, May.

Suleiman, A. (2019) Chinese Investments in Indonesia’s Fintech Sector: Their Interaction with Indonesia’s Evolving Regulatory Governance, Jakarta: Center for Indonesian Policy Studies.

The ASEAN Post. (2019) Are ASEAN’s Internet Speeds World Class? (Online).

Available at:

(Accessed: 1 June 2021).

Tiberghien, Y. (2020) For the Global Economy, US-China Rivalry Does Not Have to Mean Destruction (Online). Available at:

(Accessed: 1 June 2021).

Widiartanto, Y. H. (2017) Jack Ma Resmi Jadi Penasihat E-commerce Indonesia (Online).

Available at:,committee%20roadmap%20e%2Dcommerce%20Indonesia (Accessed: 4 June 2021).

Woolcock, J. A. (1985) “Politics, Ideology and Hegemony in Gramsci's Theory”. Social and Economic Studies, September, 34(3), pp. 199-210.

Yuniar, R. W. (2020) Is Indonesia becoming too reliant on Huawei? (Online).

Available at: (Accessed: 3 June 2021).