Title: The performance and innovation speed of utility applications in China

Authors: Jie Ren; Xibao Li

Addresses: School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China ' School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Tsinghua Yuan, Haidian District, Beijing, China

Abstract: Application or 'app' innovation is an important form of innovation in the digital economy. App innovation in China is based on the users and markets. Using 474 utility apps from 217 Chinese companies, we examine the determinants of app innovation. We capture how data are valued in the digital era and find that multilevel factors influence app innovation performance. Specifically, first-mover advantage, firms' experiences in app development and local institutions influence the survival of apps and the quality of app innovation. First-mover advantage, software developing experiences and venture capitalist status influence the product innovation process at the earlier stage of the app life cycle. Whether the company goes public and the marketisation level influence the data-based innovation at the later stage of the app life cycle.

Keywords: app innovation; utility software; multilevel model; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2021.120925

International Journal of Technology Management, 2021 Vol.87 No.2/3/4, pp.205 - 228

Accepted: 19 May 2021
Published online: 17 Feb 2022 *

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