Upgrading of Chinese Domestic Firms in Advanced Manufacturing: Evidence from Industrial Robots and High-Tech Medical Devices

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2022-09-17

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Abstract

Utilizing diverse qualitative and quantitative evidence from two advanced manufacturing sectors, industrial robots and high-tech medical devices, this chapter identifies the upgrading trends of Chinese domestic firms from a global value chain (GVC) perspective, discusses the driving forces behind these trends, and provides a detailed look at national and local policies supporting these upgrading efforts. We find that Chinese firms are relatively weak in the global markets of the two sectors but have built competitiveness in the domestic market. Key determinants for the upgrading of local firms include both internal factors such as a very large domestic market, national guidance by the central government, policy support by local governments, innovation on key components and innovative products, as well as external factors such as global markets, foreign direct investment, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global policy environment. These factors are likely to continue pushing upgrading in the coming years. The commonalities and differences related to upgrading in the industrial robot and high-tech medical device sectors are discussed. We highlight implications of our analysis for China’s future upgrading in advanced manufacturing GVCs.

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10.1007/978-981-19-3008-9_8

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Gereffi

Gary Gereffi

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University (https://gvcc.duke.edu/).  He has published over a dozen books and numerous articles on globalization, industrial upgrading, and social and economic development, and he is one of the originators of the global value chains framework.  His most recent books are:  Handbook on Global Value Chains (co-edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert), Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2019); and Global Value Chains and Development: Redefining the Contours of 21st Century Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018).  Current projects include:  (1) the impact of U.S. protectionism on jobs and regional trade agreements; (2) evaluating how the digital economy and Industry 4.0 are likely to affect international business strategies and industrial upgrading; and (3) shifting regional interdependencies in East Asia and North America, with a focus on China, South Korea and Mexico vis-à-vis the United States.

Gereffi

Gary Gereffi

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University (https://gvcc.duke.edu/).  He has published over a dozen books and numerous articles on globalization, industrial upgrading, and social and economic development, and he is one of the originators of the global value chains framework.  His most recent books are:  Handbook on Global Value Chains (co-edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert), Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2019); and Global Value Chains and Development: Redefining the Contours of 21st Century Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018).  Current projects include:  (1) the impact of U.S. protectionism on jobs and regional trade agreements; (2) evaluating how the digital economy and Industry 4.0 are likely to affect international business strategies and industrial upgrading; and (3) shifting regional interdependencies in East Asia and North America, with a focus on China, South Korea and Mexico vis-à-vis the United States.


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