Global Technology Leadership: The Case of China

36 Pages Posted: 19 May 2015 Last revised: 17 Jul 2015

See all articles by Can Huang

Can Huang

Zhejiang University - School of Management

Naubahar Sharif

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science; Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science

Date Written: February 1, 2015

Abstract

Over the last century and a half, global technological leadership has shifted from Great Britain to the United States. In this paper we argue that China is positioning itself to assume global leadership in technology within the coming few decades. We identify three sources of competitive advantage for China’s ascent in the global technology stakes: its massive domestic market, its centralized power and willingness to employ state-sponsored industrial policy and government support, and the process of globalization that continues to transform markets worldwide. After acknowledging skeptical views of China’s capacity to achieve global technology leadership, we survey the present state of affairs and assess its prospects for growth based on statistical evidence and multiple illustrative examples. We argue that the three sources of competitive advantage we explicate offer China a path to imminent global technological leadership.

Keywords: technology leadership, innovation, industrial policy, globalization, China

JEL Classification: Q55, O31, O32, O14

Suggested Citation

Huang, Can and Sharif, Naubahar, Global Technology Leadership: The Case of China (February 1, 2015). HKUST IEMS Working Paper No. 2015-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2607428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2607428

Can Huang (Contact Author)

Zhejiang University - School of Management ( email )

Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 310058
China

Naubahar Sharif

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science ( email )

Division of Social Science
Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science ( email )

Room 6515, 6/F, Lifts 25/26
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

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