Credit: ICAPlants/Wikimedia Commons As China's crackdown on its tech giants rolls on, a new group of companies has come into favor with the state: the ‘little giants.’ That’s the special title that Beijing has given to around 4,700 mostly little known small to mid-sized companies in strategic sectors like advanced manufacturing, software and robotics. The government hopes that showering them with its endorsement and financial incentives will help supercharge their growth and, eventually, make the companies essential links in global supply chains. The "little giants'' also fit into China’s drive for self-reliance, as relations with the West sour. A dispersed network of highly-specialized companies will be harder to sanction than a few name-brand mega-corporations like Huawei — or so the thinking goes. Still, some observers have expressed doubts about the program. This week, The Wire looks at China’s little giants initiative: the companies involved, its European analogues, and why some peopSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.