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Geographic patterns of industrial innovation in China during the 1990s

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This study uses a variety of indicators such as patent grants, new product sales and R&D spending to examine the spatial patterns of industrial innovation in China during the 1990s. It is found that industrial innovation in China has been concentrated in the coastal areas, and the spatial concentration has been increasing in the 1990s, which is contrary to what Sun (2000) found on the patterns of all patent applications in 1985 to 1995. The study also reveals that large and medium-sized enterprises in China have experienced a switch in their modes of innovative behaviours in the late 1990s: from more spending on imported technologies to more in-house R&D; though expenditure on absorbing imported technologies has been marginal. Finally, enterprises are not well integrated with independent R&D institutes regarding their R&D efforts, which indicates that the national innovation system in China is still fragmented.

Keywords: China; Innovation; concentration; large and medium enterprises

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: California State University, Northridge, USA

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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