Many still define state capitalism as socialism or communism.
What is it?
We can differentiate between different types:
Sovereign wealth funds
These are funds, usually accumulated by oil rich nations in Middle East, Norway,Russia.
In most cases these funds just want to optimize returns, ie. make the most efficient investments anywhere in globe, thus operate just like an investor.
In some cases, they are mixed, these funds also invest inwards, i.e. they finance business in their home country
In Russia, RDIF invests and co-invests mainly inwards. The most glaring example is the Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19.
State owned companies
State owned companies were/are historically tied to energy, ie. Oil and utilities. Probably the fact that these industries are critical. While in West these we mostly or partly privatized, in the rest of the world this is the standard.
In developed countries, there are few state owned companies, while in emerging countries it is almost a norm.
As a paradox, the biggest growth seems to have happened, while the state had a larger ownership of companies, both in Europe as in Asia.
The State itself
A government can influence business with economic policies, taxed, regulation, permits. In fully deregulated capitalist countries the government does not pose many obstacles to business, and supports the largest companies. Usually the government has to step in if critical business have large losses or face bankruptcy.
In state capitalism, the state heavily regulates some sectors of the economy, own and/or controls large business, and effectively has the monopoly in strategic industries.
State capitalism allows a country to move a huge amount of resources to implement a plan. The State can move state owned companies, sovereign funds and internal funds to support an industry. This combination of finance, manpower and technological skills make it easier to complete large scale projects.
Let's imagine an infrastructure upgrade in rail roads: State provides financing, sovereign fund attracts foreign co-investment, state companies provide the technology (fast trains, management systems), state owned construction firms manage the project.
State capitalism investment strategies are generally more focused on long term improvement of the general economy though infrastructure, providing employment, favoring internal development of industrial and technological goods and solution, and spending the money within the country.
Comparatively, unbundled capitalism is not about rising a tide to lift all boats.