Technology transfer to China: a study of strategy in 20 EU industrial companies
by David Bennett, Xiaming Liu, David Parker, Fred Steward, Kirit Vaidya
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 21, No. 1/2, 2001

Abstract: Foreign direct investment has been important in China's economic development since the early 1980s. In recent years, the volume of inward FDI into China, according to some estimates, has been second only to that into the USA. The Chinese government has emphasised the need for FDI to be coupled with the transfer of more advanced technologies to China. For foreign companies, technology transfer raises the risk of losing their technology based competitive advantage to potential competitor firms. This risk may be exacerbated by insufficient legal protection of intellectual property rights in China. After briefly reviewing the development of Chinese official policy on technology transfer, this paper considers the strategy adopted by EU companies regarding the transfer of technology; in particular in advanced technology sectors. The research on which the paper is based included an analysis of information gathered from 20 leading EU companies with investments in China and operating in high-technology sectors. Information was gathered from senior company managers based in both China and Europe during the second half of 1998. The main findings include a measure of reluctance on the part of EU companies to transfer their core technologies to China and to base R&D capability there. At the same time, the companies appear aware that this policy may be unsustainable in the longer-term in the face of Chinese official policy and a desire to expand their operations in China. While they attempt to protect their existing technological knowledge, most of them accept that there will be technology ''leakage'' and therefore the most effective strategy is to maintain their technological lead through R&D.

Online publication date: Tue, 08-Jul-2003

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email