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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2007/1:
Path-following or Leapfrogging in Catching-up: theCase of Chinese Telecommunication Equipment Industry

Liu Xielin

Abstract: In this paper, by reviewing the development of telecommunication equipment industry from fixed phone switches to later 3G, TD-SCDMA, we conclude that the degree of matching between existing foreign products with Chinese market is the primary incentive for Chinese companies to catch-up. The possibility to redesign the existing foreign product to match the market needs in China leads to further opportunity to catch-up. The accessibility of knowledge through government support, alliance with foreign companies or R&D work shapes the capability of Chinese companies to catch-up. The government support is important but not dominated. Leapfrogging strategy will meet more tough problems than path-following. Government plays a more important role in the leapfrogging than the path-following catching-up process. Open to the world and encouraging the collaboration and alliance activity can give companies in the developing countries more opportunity to access the latest knowledge. In the dynamic and advanced industry, FDI can be a very important factor for the technology transfer and catching-up.

Keywords: innovation; catching-up and telecommunication equipment industry; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: O30; (follow links to similar papers)

36 pages, June 1, 2007

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