China Policy Institute Blog

Why do many Chinese SOEs fail to achieve their ambitions?

Written by Jing Cai. China’s remarkable economic growth since the late 1970s has been accompanied, and in some degree caused, by changes in ownership and corporate governance. A large private sector grew up, partly through the founding of new firms, and partly through privatisation. But (full) privatisation was confined to small and medium state-owned enterprises (SOEs). …

Chinese technological development: Too open to the world and in the wrong way?

Written by Andrew Tylecote.  It is widely agreed that ‘latecomer firms’ (LCFs) and their economies should catch up through cooperation (‘linkage’) with what Mathews (2006) calls ‘incumbents’. The cooperation revolves around the sourcing of incumbents, and their technology licensing: they buy goods from, and sell technology to, LCFs. This creates a sort of ladder upwards; first …

Food safety challenges call for big changes in Chinese food companies

Written by Nicoletta Ferro. Ensuring food security, in terms of ongoing availability of food provisions, has always been one of the top priorities in the Chinese government agenda. Memories of the Great Famine are still vivid in the mind of many Chinese and while the country has succeeded in combating hunger and gained food self-sufficiency, concerns …

Chinese agriculture in the wake of the global food crisis

Written by Francesca Bray. In 2007-8 a food crisis rocked the world. A concatenation of climatic, economic and financial factors sent global food prices rocketing. Drought in Australia, then the world’s second largest wheat exporter after the USA, had cut the 2006 wheat harvest from 25 to 10 million tons. Bad weather reduced the 2007 …

The Three Gorges Dam: China’s Clean Energy Hero or Villain?

Written by Christopher Dent. Hydropower remains by far the world’s dominant renewable energy source for producing electricity, still well over twice the combined installed global capacity of wind and solar. China accounts for over a quarter of worldwide hydropower installed worldwide, having embarked on the world’s most ambitious large dam-building programme since the 1990s. By …

An Industrial Economic Perspective on China’s Prospects as an Innovative Country

Written by Junbo Yu. The declaration of China’s “National Guidelines on a Medium and Long-term Program for Science and Technology Development 2006-2020” (hereafter S&T Guideline) epitomised the climax in Beijing’s technology modernisation attempt. This process of implicit, temporary and topical policy efforts were finally subjected to state will with explicit, comprehensive strategies (namely the “Independent Innovation …

China: Innovator or Follower?

Written by Richard P. Appelbaum. In 2006, continuing its effort to achieve world-class status as an S&T innovator, the Chinese government launched its National Medium- and Long-Term Plan (MLP) for the Development of Science and Technology 2006-2020, making “indigenous innovation” its top developmental priority. China’s emphasis on indigenous innovation positions the Chinese state as a key …

Will China become world’s largest research spender by 2020?

Written by Yutao Sun and Cong Cao. China will outpace the United States as the leading research and development (R&D) spender by 2020, according to the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2014, a biennial report released on 12 November. Topping Europe in R&D intensity, i.e. the ratio of GDP to R&D spending, in 2012, …

Specialized IP Courts and China’s Quest to Become an Innovative Economy

Written by Mark Cohen. One of the most significant recent developments in China’s efforts to develop an innovative economy was the decision on August 31, 2014 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to establish specialized Intellectual Property (IP) courts in three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The decision speaks loudly to the …

Good Science, Administrative Churn and Reform: Some Chinese Puzzles

Written by Richard P. Suttmeier. In its latest “Science, Technology and Industry Outlook,” the OECD has again called attention to the rapid rise of China’s research and development expenditures and the likelihood that Chinese spending on R&D will surpass that of the US in the not-too-distant future. But, this latest report also reminds us that …