China's Path to Innovation

Author: Xiaolan Fu

Over the past three decades, China has experienced rapid economic growth and a fascinating transformation of its industry. However, much of this success is the result of industrial imitation and China's continuing success now relies heavily on its ability to strengthen its indigenous innovation capability. In this book, Xiaolan Fu investigates how China can develop a strategy of compressed development to emerge as a leading innovative nation. The book draws on quantitative and qualitative research that includes cross-country, cross-province and cross-firm analysis. Large multi-level panel datasets, unique survey databases, and in-depth industry case studies are explored. Different theoretical approaches are also used to examine the motivations, obstacles and consequences of China's innovation with a wider discussion around what other countries can learn from China's experience. This book will appeal to scholars and policy-makers working in fields such as innovation policy, technology management, development and international economics and China studies.

Key features

  • Fills a gap in the literature by providing the first comprehensive analysis of China's experience in developing technological and innovation capabilities in the past and for the future, along with a wider discussion about what other countries can learn from China's experience
  • Analysis is carried out at multi-levels, such as firm, industry, regional and national levels, and both qualitative and quantitative analysis and evidence is used - will appeal to researchers, graduate students, policymakers, and those using a multidisciplinary approach
  • Includes timely topics such as internationalisation and outward direct investment of Chinese MNEs and international innovation collaboration, as well as the role of incentives in enhancing innovations in China

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. Innovation in China since the reforms: an overview
Part I. International Knowledge Transfer and Technological Take-off:
3. Foreign direct investment, absorptive capacity and innovation in Chinese regions
4. Processing trade, FDI and international competitiveness of the Chinese high-technology industries
5. Indigenous and foreign innovation efforts and technological upgrading in China
Part II. Development of Indigenous Innovation Capacity and Catch-up
6. The role of state policy in shaping innovation practices: the case of open innovation in China
7. Open innovation as a response to constraints and resources
8. The dual role of universities in industrial innovation: comparing China and the UK
9. Technological learning, tacit knowledge acquisition and industrial upgrading: the Chinese optical fibre and cable industry
10. Leapfrogging in green technology: the solar-PV industry in China and India
Part III. Towards a Global Innovation Leader:
11. Internationalisation, reverse learning and capabilities upgrading: the case of Huawei and ZTE
12. International collaboration and radical innovation
13. Innovation efficiency and the cross-country gaps in innovation
14. Incentives, institutions and national innovation performances
15. Conclusions: open national innovation system and China's path to innovation

A Chinese flyer can be found here.

For more info please visit